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 February 2007
From the Editor's Desk

The Personal Touch

I like the approach taken by authors Phillip Godorov and Susan Arendt, fellow staffers, as they wrote for this issue about the ASTM International Interlaboratory Studies Program, which provides staff assistance for the development of precision and bias statements in ASTM test methods. When I asked them to describe some success stories from their program, Phillip and Susan responded with an article that has a personal touch. Describing specific problems encountered by real ASTM committee members who are negotiating their way through interlaboratory studies, the authors paint a pointillist picture of a program that provides value by solving one problem at a time.

The tone of their article dovetails nicely with the subject of ASTM President James A. Thomas’ “Plain Talk for a New Generation” column this month. Jim writes about how the essence of ASTM International can be found not just in numbers showing standards developed or members on the rolls, but also in intangibles like the energy emanating from meeting rooms as participants in ASTM’s process pursue their goals of developing the best consensus standards.

ASTM International is a premier standards developer, and as part of that, it is a network. Its members are held together by commercial interest and collegiality, but also by the long strands of over 100 years of history, regulations honed over those years to ensure the best consensus results, and programs such as the Interlaboratory Studies Program and the Proficiency Testing Program also profiled in this issue. These are just two of the many ASTM programs that take their cue from our members’ drive toward standards and related products that meet all the marketplace’s needs.

This issue also contains an interview with the leader of one network of which ASTM International is a member — S. Joe Bhatia, who in January marked his one-year anniversary as president and CEO of the American National Standards Institute. Bhatia discusses the many aspects of ANSI’s outreach, to the conformity assessment world, the U.S. government and national standards bodies and regional cooperatives around the world.

We are all part of many networks in the various parts of our lives, from family to career to the communities we live in. You can rest assured that the ASTM International portion of that network is here working every day to ensure that your work is of the greatest value to the wide marketplace your industry serves.

Maryann Gorman
Editor in Chief

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