UN launches International Year of CrystallographyListen /
The United Nations is on Monday launching the International Year of Crystallography (IYCr2014).
The UN Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is having a two-day event at its headquarters in Paris for the launch of the year which marks the centenary of the birth of modern crystallography.
The study of crystals' inner structure and properties is credited for insights into the arrangement of atoms in the solid state leading to advancements of physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and even mathematics.
In his message for the year, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says crystallography is fundamental to understanding the structure of matter.
"It is critical for materials science, health care, agriculture and biotechnology. Today, crystallography is at the core of structural sciences, revealing the constitution of minerals and the molecules of life, helping scientists to design new-generation materials and life-saving medicine. In recognition of these important contributions, the United Nations General Assembly designated 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography." (31")
Secretary-General Ban says the goal of of designating this year is to raise awareness about the power of crystals, deepen cooperation and create new partnerships across the globe.
He points out that crystallography has an important place in the world for inclusive sustainable development policies that are good for people and the planet.