Why I’m proud to be a crystallographer

“There’s an argument that much of the success of crystallography has been that it is an inherently “open” science. Most of the software tools that I use day in day out are freeware – developed and maintained by researchers in the field. I’m supremely grateful for their hard work, making tools that are essential to a wide range of scientific projects, with often only citations as reward. Added to this data depositories (such at the Crystallographic Open Database) and standardisation of format have meant that scientists across disciplines can easily communicate their findings to each other. So every time I collect a diffraction pattern, I enjoy the fact that I’m part of a collective of people (and one robot on Mars) doing the same thing. It’s a fabulous “clan” to belong to, and that’s why I’m proud to be a crystallographer….