This week Dr Michele Zema spoke to Stewart Bland about the International Year of Crystallography.

The International Year of Crystallography 2014 (IYCr2014) commemorates not only the centennial of X-ray diffraction, which allowed the detailed study of crystalline material, but also the 400th anniversary of Kepler’s observation in 1611 of the symmetrical form of ice crystals, which began the wider study of the role of symmetry in matter.

Michele Zema is the Project Manager for IYCr2014 at IUCr, Chester, UK, and lecturer in crystallography in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at U. Pavia, Italy. He is also Chair of the Commission for Crystallographic Teaching of the Italian Crystallographic Association, and has organized several summer schools, including the series "Crystallography beyond diffraction". He is an active researcher in the field of mineralogical crystallography and inorganic crystal chemistry. He is also the creator of the IYCr2014 logo.

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