President's Column

E-Mail your comments to James Thomas.


Plain Talk

The Role of Government

The partnership between the U.S. federal government and standards organizations long-standing and successful. James A. Thomas considers the history and current status.... more


Plain Talk

What's in a Word?

ASTM is diverse and open — on a grand scale. James A. Thomas reflects on how the organization has evolved while remaining true to removing barriers to participation.... more


Plain Talk

Transition: New ASTM President Selected

As I close out this year of serving as chairman of ASTM International’s board of directors, it is a pleasure to think back on what a productive, successful and forward thinking year it has been. ... more


Plain Talk

Helping Our World Work Better

Before you turned to this page, you probably noticed something different about this issue of SN. In the days to come, you will see other signs of a project recently completed — the “branding,” or really the “rebranding,” of ASTM International. ... more


Plain Talk

Power of Participation

They say knowledge is power. And the marketplace power that comes from knowing what work is under way in a standards developing organization can be obtained only if that organization is transparent.... more


Plain Talk

The Bridge

Where will we find the next generation of technical experts? That question is deliberated in standards conferences all over the world and in standards organizations everywhere. It is this community’s perpetual challenge, its ongoing quest for continuity. For ASTM International, the answer to that question was a matter of building a bridge.... more


Plain Talk

It's What We Do

ASTM International standards are synonymous with quality and relevance. We know that. And we know that they are the standards of choice wherever choosing is an option. But choice isn’t what keeps them within the world’s grasp. It’s accessibility. Accessibility that is easy, affordable, comprehensive and instantaneous. In other words, this great, world-renowned body of work must be published, marketed and distributed, and that must be done with the best, cutting-edge technology available.... more


Plain Talk

Outreach: In Support of Members Around the Globe

In 2001, when the ASTM board of directors decided to change the name of this organization from the American Society for Testing and Materials to ASTM International, it was to more accurately reflect its constituency and to acknowledge the members and users of ASTM standards who lived in countries other than the United States. ASTM International has now opened offices in Beijing, China; in Brussels, Belgium, the de facto capital of the European Union; in Mexico City, Mexico; and in Ottawa, Ontari... more


Plain Talk

What I Brought Home

In September of this year, I was in St. Petersburg, Russia, at a meeting of the General Assembly of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), where representatives from 128 countries gathered to discuss how standards development could be made simpler, faster and better. Stakeholder engagement, customer engagement, the protection of intellectual property, attracting new volunteers and providing first class services for members were the topics that concerned standards leaders from ... more


Plain Talk

TTIP and Dancing Elephants

On July 8 of this year, in Washington, D.C., the United States and the European Union launched negotiations on a proposed free trade agreement called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP. While the two parties have negotiated free trade agreements with other countries, they have not, until now, attempted one of this magnitude with one another.1 In its Technical Barriers to Trade section, the agreement is slated to cover, among other things, cars, machinery and electronics,... more

More President's Column