In connection with arranging IAU Symposium No. 50 on 'Spectral Classification and Multicolour Photometry', sponsored by Commissions 45 and 25, it was decided to exclude all calibration problems. Instead it was agreed that we should attempt to arrange a separate symposium, dealing with the fundamental problems of the cali- bration of absolute magnitudes and temperatures of stars. The Executive Committee of the IAU accepted our proposal, and IAU Symposium No. 54 was held in Geneva on September 12-15, 1972, sponsored by thefollowing IAU Commissions: 24, 25, 29, 33, 35, 37,44 and 45. It was attended by about 90 scientists representing 16 countries. The Symposium was divided into eight sessions. Each session started with a review paper by an invited speaker; this was followed by a general discussion including a few contributed papers. The contents of the present volume follow closely the programmes of the individual sessions of the Symposium. Most of the recorded discussions have been kept, and only in a few cases have the order of questions and comments been altered so as to obtain more homogeneity in the presentation.