The IYBSSD stresses that science can bring solutions to mainy sustainability problems, says Hannah Dabkowska, the president of the International Union of Crystallography.
Crystallography is the basic science that investigates the intimate structure of matter ,from minerals to medicines, from foods to electronics and energy materials, from simple molecules, like diamond,s to the complicated bricks of life: proteins, nucleic acids, viruses. Crystallography tells us how the atoms are involved and how they are connected in the materials we know and in the materials we want to create. When scientist understand how these materials are built, they can modify the properties of this materials, tailoring them to specific applications.
How is IUCr involved in the realization of Sustainable Development Goals?
For health, we help to create new drugs and new vaccines. We are very much involved at the Union in improving the quality of education around the world. We run international schools and workshops. We have international crystallography competitions for students, high school students, sometimes elementary school students, where they can compete in growing very beautiful crystals. This is building the basics of the interests of the young generation in science. We are trying to approach the gender equity: 30% of our members are women and we are working really hard to have more women involved in our organization.
What do you expect from the International Year?
It provides the directions and raises the awareness about what the world needs at this specific moment. It stresses that science can bring solutions to many problems, but only when political will is there and when the financials are provided. The most important challenge is the lack of collaboration between the nations, which is especially now visible much more strongly with the wars running around the world. I expect that collaboration will be strengthened on many levels and then together we can achieve all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.