For a long period Soil Mechanics has remained at the semi-empirica stage, and only a few decades ago it has shown a tendency to become a fundamental science. However, this evolution is taking place slowly; in spite of the efforts of numerous research scientists, the very complex rheological laws of soils are still not well known. Even if these laws were elucidated, it would take a long time still to deduce simple rules from them for reliable and convenient use in current practical engineer ing. In the pursuit of these distant aims - and of others more imme diate - fundamental research and applied research are very active, both in Rheology and Soil Mechanics. The complexity of the problems to be solved should incite the laboratory researchers and the engineers to a continuous collaboration. Everyone acknowledges the advantage of these connections although aware of the difficulty of realizing this wish. However, contacts are being made little by little between the repre sentatives of the different branches of Rheology and Soil Mechanics, to the great benefit of science. The bureau of the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM), aware of the importance of these two associat ed fields of mechanics, considered it possible to accelerate the natural and necessary processus of their interpenetration by organizing in Grenoble, from 1st to 8th April 1964 an International Symposium on Rheology and Soil Mechanics.
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