I have been very fortunate this autumn to visit two markedly different African countries, Kenya and Senegal, on behalf of the CCDC. My first visit was to Nairobi, where Dr Lewis Whitehead of Novartis and I presented a week-long Kongamano: a series of lectures and workshops on crystallographic databases, featuring the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), and in-silico visualization and modelling applications in drug discovery.
One of the most exciting events we hold at the CCDC are our blind tests of crystal structure prediction (CSP) methods. This one turned out to be the best yet. CSP is a really attractive problem as the challenge is beautifully simply to express, but monumentally difficult to solve. Perhaps this is why the entire CSP community comes together every few years, often pooling resources, to have a crack. It’s a wonderful model that could be applied to all sorts of challenges in chemistry and other areas of science.