The purpose of this volume and Pediatric Nephrology Seminar IX from which it was created is to provide easy access to current concepts in the diagnosis and management of kidney diseases in the newborn. Complimentary to this purpose is the opportunity the Seminar structure gives me to invite those particularly interested in the subject chosen to come together, share experiences and ideas in an unhurried, unpressured atmosphere for four con tinuous days - an oasis for me and, I am told, also for the faculty and registrants. This year's subject choice is an expression of my perennial interest in the kidney of the newborn. A step back to view the steps forward reveals unwittingly intertwined associations and actions which now fall into focus. When I was just beginning my pediatric nephrology training with Sol Kaplan at Downstate in Brooklyn, we discussed Bob Usher's pioneering thought that there was something wrong with the kidneys of babies with RDS. Without really knowing what needed to be done, I started looking at the kidneys of those babies. Subsequently, Dick Day who was Chairman of the Department of Pedia trics there, stopped me in the hall, and asked me to come into his office. Glowing in quiet introspection, he extolled the joy of working with one's hands, then hurried away to his laboratory. He had been the Director of the Newborn Nursery at Babies Hospital before coming to Downstate, and (as I later found out) was trying to do something with oxygen electrodes.