This, the second special topical conference on the properties of Non-Metallic Materials at Low Temperatures, was sponsored by the International Cryogenic Materials Conference Board. The potential for plastics materials in the field of cryogenics is vast and as yet only partly explored. In addition, many other materials, which qualify for the title non-metallic but are not 'plastics', have numerous possible outlets in low temperature technology. This conference aimed at providing a forum, whereby specialists from Industry, the Universities and from Government sponsored Institutions could assemble to discuss the extent of our current knowledge. As it transpired, the meeting was also to high- light the considerable gaps that still exist in our fundamental understanding of the low temperature behaviour of these materials. On this theme, during the course of the conference, a reference was made to an almost forgotten quotation by Lord Kelvin, who said: "e;When you cannot measure what you are speaking about, when you cannot express in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the stage of a science, whatever the matter be."e; This simple statement sums up the aims, objectives and hopefully the achievements of this conference. To discuss and disseminate the current knowledge on non-metallic materials in order that realistic predictions of in-service performance may be made.