Online tutorials, talks and tea breaks for solid form chemists, crystal engineers and physicists.

Covering a range of topics in crystal growth, crystallisation, crystallography and more.

  • Monthly meetings from August to December 2020.
  • Learn with live tutorials and research presentations with Q&A.
  • Grow with group discussions, networking, and social games.
  • Especially suited to students and early career researchers.


This series is now closed, to give us time for new projects in 2021.

Stay in touch with us; the CCDC Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre, and the BACG British Association for Crystal Growth

crystal conversations

These informal meetings are a chance to share ideas, swap tips and mingle with others in the field.

Jointly organised by BACG British Association for Crystal Growth and CCDC Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre.


Sign up, log on, and lets keep the conversation going.

 Ask us a question or request a topic by emailing us here.

If you would like to speak at a Crystal Conversations meeting, please email us here including your suggested title and a brief (~250 word) abstract.


Watch Recordings

Find the recorded presentations on our YouTube playlist here.

Please note that talks are only recorded where we have the presenter's permission, so not all sessions are available.


Past Meetings

Thursday 6th August, 2 - 4 BST

  • Summary, slides, and recordings in our blog post here.
  • Learn: Molecular modelling techniques - 3 researchers present their work and welcome questions.
    • Panayiotis Klitou - University of Leeds.
    • Xiangwen Wang - Queen Mary University of London - watch the talk here.
    • Aaron Finney - University College London
  • Grow: BACG's Crystals in Art competition, and a social quiz (who will you meet when you're assigned to a team?)


Thursday 3rd September, 2 - 4 BST

  • Learn: Crystal Structure Prediction: a Pharmaceutical Perspective - When and how to use it? Joost van den Ende, Senior Scientist Solid State Research, Small Molecule Research, Roche (this session was not recorded).
  • Grow: Careers Clinic - ask our panellists from industry and academia anything about finding the right role, and to share your tips and experiences with the community.
    From finding roles, to writing grant applications, to phone interview tips, or crafting a winning CV - bring your questions, and advice, and join the conversation.


Thursday 1st October - 14:00 - 16:00 BST

  • Learn: Data-driven discovery of co-crystals using network science and machine learning - René de Gelder and Jan-Joris Devogelaer from Radbound University
    • Physicochemical and biopharmaceutical properties of pure compounds can be modified by the formulation of co-crystals. [1] However, the design of co-crystals remains extremely challenging. In this contribution we present the application of network science and machine learning to the data-driven discovery of new co-crystals. [2,3,4]
      [1] Grothe, E., Meekes, H., Vlieg, E., ter Horst, J. H., de Gelder, R. (2016). Cryst. Growth Des. 16, 3237–3243.
      [2] Devogelaer, J.J., Meekes, H., Vlieg, E., de Gelder, R. (2019). Acta Cryst. B, 75, 371-383.
      [3] Devogelaer, J.J., Brugman, S.J.T., Meekes, H., Tinnemans, P., Vlieg, E., de Gelder, R. (2019). CrystEngComm, 21, 6875-6885.
      [4] Devogelaer, J.J., Meekes, H., Tinnemans, P., Vlieg, E., de Gelder, R. (2020). Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., Early view article. DOI: 10.1002/anie.202009467
  • Learn: Nucleation - Accelerating and inhibiting nucleation from solution - Peter Kaskiewicz from University of Leeds
  • Grow: Lightning talks
    • We especially invite students to present a 1 slide / 3 minute lightning talk about their work. Find collaborators, promote your paper, or simply get practice presenting - who knows what useful connections you will make?


Thursday 5th November - 14:00 - 16:00 GMT

  • Learn:
    • Solid form particle crystallisation - Robert Docherty, Pfizer (this session was not recorded).
    • On the entropy cost of solvates - Professor Alessia Bacchi, University of Parma (this session was not recorded).
  • Grow: The Crystal Conversations toolkit - your recommendations of software, tools, books, websites, calculators, newsletters... any resources that the community should know about! We collected your suggestions on our digital whiteboard.

Thursday 3rd December - 14:00 - 16:00 GMT

  • Learn: Crystallization-Enhanced Resolution and Deracemization of Chiral Compounds - Joop ter Horst, University of Strathclyde
    • The discovery of Viedma Ripening as a crystallization-enhanced deracemization technique stimulated the research on the crystallization of chiral compounds in complex multicomponent systems. After highlighting various examples of crystallization-enhanced resolution and deracemization I will discuss how to enable such deracemization processes. Finally I will discuss the industrial application of crystallization-enhanced deracemization processes such as Viedma Ripening.

  • Learn: Formation and heterostructure control in metal-organic frameworks - Dr Hamish Hei-Man Yeung, University of Birmingham
    • Metal–organic frameworks are porous materials with great potential for gas storage, sensing, separations and catalysis but their synthesis remains largely a black box endeavour. We use in-situ methods, including synchrotron X-ray diffraction, to understand how they form and how we might better control––and even predict––their structures.

  • Grow: Festive quiz - download a copy here to play with your friends, it's quick and Zoom-friendly!