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Probably no facet of testing technology is more continuously dynamic than conditioning and its highly temperamental cousin, weathering. Although the weather has been with us for a long time all efforts to tame it have been singularly unsuccessful and all attempts to reproduce it quite discouraging to all but the intellectually stalwart. The fact remains that many of our highly useful engineering materials are affected by atmospheric influences, mostly adversely. Therefore it is obvious that the struggle to reproduce these influences is a vital part of our scientific endeavors and must proceed at any cost. Let us be frank: conditioning and weathering is no place for the weak-kneed, or the fellow who must see success around the corner. Mother Nature never relaxes her efforts to fool us. Those who have elected to reproduce her fantastic vagaries, including the authors of this Symposium, must be admired for the technological competence and dogged persistence which have resulted in a striking advancement of the frontiers of knowledge in a field notoriously difficult. Prime responsibility for establishment of standard conditioning and weathering procedures rests in the Technical Committees covering the various materials. The sponsor of this Symposium, Committee E-1 on Methods of Testing, is a Society-wide group having as one of its functions the dissemination of knowledge valuable to all committees. One of the purposes of the Symposium, perhaps its principal one, is to provide a broad picture of the art in terms of particular materials so that a technologist in paper, for example, will be exposed to the latest thinking in textiles, plastics, adhesives, coatings, etc.—thus not only advancing the art for all industry but minimizing duplication within the Society.
Chairman of Symposium Committee, Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., Murray Hill, N. J.