Brian Toby, Scientific Software Team Leader in the Advanced Photon Source Theory and Software Group of the Argonne X-ray Science Division has been named chair of the U.S. National Committee for Crystallography (USNC/Cr) by the National Academy of Sciences for a three-year term effective January 1, 2012.
The invitation-to-serve letter from Richard E. Bissell, Executive Director of Policy and Global Affairs for the National Academies, notes that the USNC/Cr “promotes the advancement of the science of crystallography in the United States and throughout the world, and effect[s] appropriate U.S. participation in the lnternational Union of Crystallography (lUCr) through the National Academy of Sciences… [The lUCr] serves the world community of crystallographers [and] the USNC/Cr stimulates the involvement of U.S. crystallographers in international issues of importance to the community.
The USNC/CR will be encouraged to look at issues beyond just crystallography, i.e. foster research collaborations and communications, improve the public’s understanding of science, support opportunities for young scientists, develop outreach to other countries and promote equitable access to research resources.
“The USNC/Cr has traditionally advocated for U.S. scientists within our parent international organization — the IUCr,” Toby said, “but I would like to see the USNC/Cr take on an advocacy role for the need of scientists who use crystallography within the country as well. We have an excellent professional organization, the American Crystallographic Association, but that serves all of the Americas. The USNC/Cr represents the interests of the United States.
“I am very proud of the representation in the USNC/Cr,” Toby said. “The committee membership has a wide range of scientists, with respect to gender and subfield of specialization, but also in their employment sector and stage of career, with doyens as well as much younger crystallographers. This is clearly something important that we want to continue."
Toby received his B.A. in chemistry from Rutgers College in 1980 and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1986. Before joining the Advanced Photon Source in 2005, he was a Senior Chemist at Union Carbide Corp., 1985-1988; Research Associate and then Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, 1988-1991; Principal Research Chemist and then Senior Principal Research Chemist at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., 1991-1995; and Research Chemist and later Crystallography Team Leader at the NIST Center for Neutron Research, 1995-2005. At the Advanced Photon Source he has served as Physicist, Senior Physicist, and Materials Characterization Group Leader before leading the Scientific Software Team.
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