To begin this paper provocatively I will put forward the opinion that information work in any field is always largely empirical; information work in a technology cannot be anything else but empirical. It is impossible to organize an information service for a technology until the broad outline of the technology itself has been understood and assimilated. This being so, it is only possible to speak to any purpose on information work in a technology if, at each stage, some specific technology is used as a framework of reference; the only such framework known to the present author is that provided by the ceramic industry. It has been objected that the ceramic industry cannot provide a broad enough framework to give interest to an audience drawn from other industries; I hope to be able to show that this objection is not valid. To do so, the term ‘ceramics’ must first be defined.
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