The International Conference on Fracture Mechanics in Engineering Applica tion convened at the r~ational Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL) in Bangalore, India, March 26-30, 1979, with the presence of approximately 400 scientists and engi neers. The participants included individuals from all parts of India, United States of America, United Kingdom, Japan, Holland, France, Hong Kong, Korea, Sweden and Poland. The Conference was organized jointly by NAL, Bangalore;and Lehigh University, USA. Various organizations in India have also supported the Conference most generously. Professor S. Dhawan, Director of the Indian Institute of Science and Secre tary of Department of Space, delivered the inaugural speech. He said that the advance of science was the precondition of the development and survival of human society in the modern world. "It is true that in recent times, science and tech nology - and their practitioners - have been subjected to much public scrutiny, debate and severe criticism". On the other hand, the depletion of non-renewable resources, degradation of the natural environment and a host of other problems had been laid at the door of technology and science. One cannot deny that funda mental advances in the physics and chemistry of the structure of matter had led to spectacular engineering progress. Advanced technologies like nuclear energy and space exploration were but expression of the central role of computors, elec tronics, optics, polymers, etc. , and all of these were heavily dependent on the successful application of material science and technology.
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