There is something new about ASTM. There is our new name, of courseASTM
International. But theres something else. Theres a new energy
abounding, something extra added. Its the feeling that weve
taken on the new millennium and everythings fine. And were doing
Theres a new language about, the language of the information
age, the language of this age. Our vocabulary is rife with words
and phrases like digital workflows and the Digital Path.1 Thirty
years ago, when I first came to ASTM, the volumes of the Annual
Book of ASTM Standards were the benchmark for publications of
their kind. They still are. But ASTM International is now using
technologies that will improve everything about the way standards
are published and delivered. Electronic publishing is fast, efficient,
accurate, and flexible. Still were not satisfied. Were upgrading
Online task groups, committee Web pages, Web balloting, and other
electronic marvels are revolutionizing the ASTM International
standardization process. Our electronic network means standards
development can take place without the limitations of time and
space. It means participation is possible for those for whom it
had never been possible before. It means an ever-widening dissemination
of information. It means that transparency has taken on new meaning,
and access to ASTM International is limited only by ones ability
to go online. Openness has never been so open.
And what about our new name? ASTM started out as the American
chapter of an international standards developing organization.
Long before this millennium, ASTM standards were developed by
an international membership and applied far and wide. Long before
the word globalization became a part of the lexicon, ASTM standards
were the standard of choice in countries all over the world.
Globalization is not a new concept here. Its just intensified.
Its growing importance is directly related to the growth of the
globalization of industry, of our members. Its time we had a
new name. Its who we are.
Who are we? Experience has taught us that public perception is
sometimes accurate, sometimes off the mark, and nearly always
fickle. The accurate portrayal of ASTM International, its values,
and its opportunities, is a responsibility we take seriously.
Whether it is before a Congressional committee, an international
audience, through a dynamic Web site, participation in international
policy activities, or an article in SN, ASTM International is
constantly spreading the message, repairing misconceptions, and
supporting one of the best ideas to come along in a very long
while. Communication is the best accompaniment to progress.
Its easy to be enthusiastic these days, because ASTM International
is in exceptionally fine form, engaged, alive, and energized.
Weve taken on the new millennium and everythings fine. Were
James A. Thomas
1 See the March 2002 issue of SN.
Copyright 2002, ASTM