The collection of papers in this volume arose directly from a symposium entitled Bias and Completeness in the Conodont Fossil Record held at ECOS VIII (Eighth International Conodont Symposium held in Europe) in Toulouse during 2002. But the idea to bring together conodont workers to discuss the nature and quality of the conodont fossil record had a longer period of gestation and followed from numerous discussions during the excellent field excursions of the 1998 ECOS VII in Italy, some debate on the con-nexus conodont listserver (http://www.conodont.net), and a conversation in a hirecar between Flagstaff and Phoenix. We would like to thank: the organisers of these meetings, especially Marie- France Perret-Mirouse, organiser of ECOS VIII; The Palaeontological Association, whose financial support allowed us to invite people who would otherwise not have been able to participate in the symposium; and all those who contributed to the stimulating and sometimes heated exchange of ideas regarding the conodont fossil record in the years leading up to the publication of this volume.
The symposium and the discussion that arose from it were well received by the assembled audience in Toulouse, and we are grateful to all those who accepted our invitations and contributed talks on the day (Dick Aldridge; Howard Armstrong; Chris Barnes; Jim Barrick and Peep Ma¨nnik; Tom Broadhead and John Repetski; Jerzy Dzik; Lennart Jeppsson; Oliver Lehnert, Jim Miller and Steve Leslie; Glen Merrill; Mike Orchard; Peter Roopnarine, Mike Murphy and N. Buening; Immo Schu¨lke; Peter von Bitter). As will be clear from a perusal of the contents of this volume, many of these contributors also agreed to the more onerous task of committing their work to paper; what is less obvious is that we also relied on their willingness to act as reviewers. Without these efforts this volume could not have been published.