The International Summer School on Statistical Distributions in Scientific Work was held in Trieste during July 1980 for a period of three weeks. The emphasis was on research, review, and exposition concerned with the interface between modern statistical distribution theory and real world problems and issues involving science, technology, and management. Both theory and applications received full attention at the School. The program consisted of a Short Intensive Preparation Course, aNA TO Advanced Study Institute, and a Research Conference. While the relative composi- tion of these activities varied somewhat in terms of instruction, exposition, research- review, research, and consultation, the basic spirit of each was essentially the same. Every participant was both a professor and a student.The summer school was sponsored by the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Program; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Italy; Regione Autonoma Friuli Ven- of Health, USA; Office of Naval Research, ezia Giulia, Italy; National Institutes USA; The Pennsylvania State University; Universita di Roma~ Universita di Trieste; International Statistical Ecology Program; International Transfer of Science and Technology, Belgium; and the participants and their home institutions and organiza- tions. Research papers, research-review expositions and instructional lectures were spe- cially prepared for the program. These materials have been refereed and revised, and are now available in a series of several edited volumes and monographs.