The 12th Congress of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM) is being held in the fiftieth year of the life of the Society which was established formally on 24May 1962 in Salzburg, Austria. This paper discusses the emergence of rock mechanics as a distinctive engineering and scientific discipline, the state and achievements of the discipline at the time the ISRM was founded in 1962, the events leading up to the formation of the Society, the development and achievements of the Society in the 50 years since 1962, and the progress made in the discipline of rock mechanics and rock engineering since that time.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.