Welcome address

Daniel Egret

Observatoire Astronomique, Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France

``Weaving the Astronomy Web", Strasbourg, 6-7 April 1995

This Conference is the first international meeting devoted to the use of the World-Wide Web within the astronomical community. After the explosion of this new technique of information handling, with hundreds of astronomical services being created within a few months, it is time to discuss the following questions: What can it be really used for ? What will be the impact on our research work ?

To discuss these questions, and present recent developments and future projects, some 100 specialists from 10 different countries are gathering in Strasbourg, in the heart of Europe, at the Observatory which hosts the CDS, one of the information hubs providing the astronomer, day after day, with the data he or she needs.

Strasbourg Observatory has a tradition of organizing ``pioneering'' colloquia on databases, data centers, statistical methodologies, advanced methods in information handling (including fractals, artificial intelligence, expert systems). And now: ``Weaving the Astronomy Web''.

The meeting has been organized with oral contributions, poster promenades and demonstration sessions, leaving room for fruitful discussions. The last afternoon will be devoted to round-table discussions (not reproduced in the proceedings) which will give us an opportunity to share ideas about how to locate information on the Web, and how to provide information on the Web.

On behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, I am pleased to welcome you in Strasbourg.