ACA: The Structural Science Society

In 2021 ACA Council moved to add “The Structural Science Society” as a tagline to the traditional ACA logo.  This prompted the search for a new logo that would better reflect all scientists determining atomic-scale structure, not only those practicing crystallography.  After a long and extensive search, we are excited to share the new brand logos.    

The ACA will use this new logo to honor the history of the ACA and strengthen the ACA brand all over the world.  Going forward all communication will utilize the elements in the brand guide (above) to share a consistent and uniform identity.  If you need an image file of the for promotion or inclusion on a website/event that is ACA sponsored please contact ACA Executive Director Kristin Stevens



On February 7, 2022 the ACA replaced its logo with the new version.  Many members have expressed excitement about this change and update to the ACA's identify:  

I am excited to add “The Structural Science Society” to our logo. Crystallography has played, and continues to play, a very important role in structure determination. However, other methods have advanced significantly in recent years, and techniques like NMR or cryo-EM also have made many important contributions to structure determination. As we continue to push for new frontiers, combining data obtained by such methods with traditional crystallographic diffraction or other scattering techniques holds tremendous potential, and the addition of “The Structural Science Society” shows that the ACA is committed to providing a place that brings together all scientists that are pursuing atomic level structural analysis.

-Cora Lind-Kovacs-


The new SSS logo clearly expresses how 21st century research is conducted, incorporating various disciplines and techniques to obtain structure-function relationships. Modern structural science is fundamental to a wide range of research projects, from the design of effective vaccines and treatments to new solid-state materials with key electrical and optical properties.

-Virginia Pett-


I am excited about the ACA initiative to formally extend its mandate to all of Structural Science, while keeping the historical foundation of Crystallography. When ACA was founded, crystallography was the gold standard technique for studying atomic structures. Since then, while crystallography is still vitally important and the historical core of the society, other developments have appeared to complement and extend this capability. Most practitioners no longer sit within a crystal silo but also make use of these complementary techniques to answer scientific questions. The ACA has continuously featured such developments in its programs and SIGs, but to formally acknowledge Structural Science in its branding is overdue and entirely appropriate.  

-David Rose-


As a scientist I see this change as correctly reflecting the growing scope and interconnectivity of our field. The determination of crystal structures by X-ray and electron diffraction took advantage of phenomena that were well understood at the time and allowed scientists to make the first direct measurements of interatomic spaces. Today we have a greater need for understanding materials that cannot be crystallized as well as the dynamic behavior of molecules, but while these measurements may no longer involve crystals, it was crystallography that laid the foundation of structural information which lets us understand more complicated systems. Similarly, structural science that doesn’t involve diffraction at all such as solid-state NMR and AI structure prediction use the huge body of structural information from crystallography as a benchmark. We need to appreciate the limitations and biases that came from relying only on crystals to get molecular structures while understanding that crystal structures will always be the definitive experimental measurements that ground us in reality.
-Steven P. Kelly-


I’m excited by the idea of growing our community and welcoming new friends and colleagues. I’m excited about learning new kinds of structure science, and making new collaborators. Most of all, I’m excited for early career researchers, who are looking for a professional home, and who may now find that place in our society.

-Louise Dawe-


ACA History

The ACA strives to preserve and share the history of the society.  If you are interested in the beginnings of the ACA make sure to check out the ACA History Portal.