Welcome to the History Portal of the American Crystallographic Association

LINK: Meet Structural Scientists LINK: ACA Beginnings LINK: Videos/Audios 
LINK: Nobel Prize Winners LINK: Impact of Structural Science LINK: Crystallography in the Americas

Click on Meet Structural Scientists to see the People List. Over 100 crystallographers and structural scientists are featured.

Latest Additions

Encounter a wealth of fascinating details about well-known crystallographers whose obituaries have recently been added.

Lachlan Cranswick

Bryan Maxwell Craven
Francis H. C. Crick


David Davies
Warren Delano


Raymond E. Davis

Louis T. J. Delbaere

Lodovico Riva
Di Sanseverino

George Guy Dodson

Douglas Dorset

Latest Additions 


Franklin Rosalind Franklin is famous for her X-ray diffraction photographs of DNA fibers, yet DNA research was only part of her brilliant experimental career in which she also investigated the structure of coal, carbonaceous materials and tobacco mosaic virus.

hackertMarvin Hackert’s full-length Living History is now online. Marv is a former president of the IUCr (2014-2017) and of the ACA (2008). At the University of Texas-Austin his research focused on protein structural biology and evolutionary relationships. During his long career he has seen enormous changes in X-ray instrumentation and techniques, which he describes in his memoir. Marv has been an advocate for structural science; see also his educational video and his molecular model display.

HendricksonIn Wayne Hendrickson's oral interview he described his education and career in structural biology, from graduate work at Johns Hopkins University, to post-doctoral research with Jerome Karle at The Laboratory for the Structure of Matter (Naval Research Laboratory), to his faculty position at Columbia University. A consistent theme in his career has been improving the methodology for X-ray crystallography.  Holton

In his stimulating Rognlie Award talkJames Holton summarizes some of the many innovations he has made as a beamline scientist to improve the user experience. In concluding he argues, 

"We are not held back by our budgets; we are held back by limiting our thinking to the budget we think we can get. What would you do with a million, a billion, or a trillion dollars? If you can't think of anything, think harder. Ending a global pandemic with only $1 trillion would be a bargain. All we need is a plan that will work. I will outline an idea for testing every human being on the planet for SARS-CoV-2 simultaneously and encourage the audience to point out any problems with this plan. No single person can do this on their own, we need to work together, and I believe we will look back on 2020, in hindsight, and realize this is the way science works best."



2014 Transactions Symposium, "100 Years of Crystallography," 2014 ACA Annual Meeting, Albuquerque, NM 

 Cora Lind-Covacs 
"Fun with crystals, light and symmetry – IYCr outreach activities" 
        Video — Text — Slides


Martha M. Teeter 
“A Brief History of Women in Crystallography” 
        Video — Slides

McPhearsonAlex McPherson 
“Protein Crystallization over 200 Years: From Art to Science” 
        Video — Slides

bermanHelen M. Berman, Colin Groom, James Kaduk 
“Databases in Crystallography: Past, Present and Future” 
        Video — Slides

HendricksonWayne Hendrickson  
“Changing Practice in Crystallographic Phase Evaluation for Biological Macromolecules”

holtonJames M. Holton
"Dawn in the Age of Uncertainty" 
        Video — Slides


sweetRobert M. Sweet
"Synchrotron Radiation in Structural Biology: Past, Present, and Future"
        Video — Slides


TobyBrian H. Toby
"Powder Diffraction Crystallography: 98 Years as Plan B?"
         Video — Text — Slides



The ACA History Project showcases and preserves the history of crystallography, X-ray diffraction, and structural science through online access, articles in ACA RefleXions quarterly magazine, and videos to our YouTube channel.


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