Fragmentation of Molecular Clouds and Star Formation
A few years ago, a motivation for organizing one more IAU Symposium on star for mation in Grenoble, was the anticipated completion of the IRAM interferometer on the Plateau de Bures, close to Grenoble. This choice was also a sort of late celebration of the genius of Joseph Fourier, born in Grenoble, whose work is the very fondation of in terferometry. At the time when we finally announced the advent of this conference, the first reactions we got from the community were expressions of saturation and even reject, the Symposium being unfortunately scheduled almost simultaneously as two other major meetings on closely related topics, and sponsored by different organizations. A wave of disappointment then reached the organizers. Some of us were enthusiastic enough to help the others overcome their discouragement. Let them be thanked here. There was, indeed, a deeper motivation for organizing this conference. It was to trigger the meeting and communication of physicists and astrophysicists since many of the difficulties met now in understanding the physics of the interstellar medium and its evolution toward star formation are common to several, if not most, other fields of physics. They are assigned to one origin: complexity.