|The Big (Moving) Picture
One of the many pleasures of being editor in chief of Standardization News is the communication it affords with ASTM Internationals members and standards-developing colleagues and friends around the world who read the magazine. Whenever I acquire feature articles, field requests for information from regular readers and Web surfers who have happened upon the SN site, or interview ASTM staff and members about their latest work in the international standards development arena, I realize I have a front-row seat at ASTMs big, moving picture.
Every day, the staff of SN works to convey that picture to you in the most readable and pleasing format possible. Since 1997, one part of creating a full-circle publication that invites your participation has been missing: a monthly note from the editor. So beginning this month, the front pages of SN have been redesigned slightly to include From the Editors Desk. Look for me right here every month from now on to provide a link into key articles in the issue. And please dont hesitate to contact me with your comments, too. You are the most important part of staff-reader interaction, because with your input, the magazine is better situated to serve your needs.
Another missing piece of the ASTM International picture in SN has been a single place in the magazine that connects you to what ASTM International, as an organization, is up to. News about staff changes, new informational ASTM publications available to you, events such as industry workshops, and our work with standards developers around the world have been scattered between Global Notebook and International Scene. From now on, look for all this information in ASTM International News. Global Notebook is still there to connect you with standardization and technical news from organizations other than ASTM.
And as for the pleasures of being SN editor, I would add one more example. Every year, I am fortunate to be able to interview incoming chairmen of ASTMs board about their experience with standards development in ASTM and the view from their front-row seats at ASTMs big, moving picture. Last October, at the site of the interview, 2003 Chairman of the Board Wayne Holliday and I were warmly welcomed by Copperweld staff at one of their automotive plants south of Toronto, Ontario in Canada. I dont often get to see the manufacturing and testing techniques related to ASTMs standards, so watching the largely automated process of making a dashboard assembly out of tubular steel was endlessly fascinating to me. I saw that the process of making just one automotive component required the use of standards from across the spectrum of ASTMs technical committees: those dealing with steel, tensile testing, spectrometry, weld integrity, and more. Multiply that by all automotive components, by all the uses of steel in construction, infrastructure, recreational, medical applications, and so on around the world, and you have some idea of the ubiquity of the ASTM standard. And thats just for steel!
I wont soon forget that lesson in the absolute necessity of the standards development work being done by the thousands of ASTM members every day. Id like to thank you all for the work you do that not only fills the pages of this magazine, but which fuels the safety and commerce of the world in which we live today. To all of our readers: Keep us posted on how you feel this work is reflected in SN. We promise to keep you posted, too.
Editor in Chief
Copyright 2003, ASTM