Instead of picking a topic that has caught my eye, this month I would like to take the chance to outline some of our plans for Materials Today in 2003. I also want to take this opportunity of thanking you, our readers, for your support, suggestions, and unswerving provision of fascinating research on which to report.

We have always endeavored to respond to comments and suggestions, but this summer we undertook a survey of our readers to gauge opinion in a more comprehensive way. The response was unprecedented and we spent many hours wading through and collating your responses. We were very gratified to learn that the majority of readers pass their copies of Materials Today onto an average of three other colleagues or leave in a common area of their place of work — making the magazine one of the most widely seen in materials science. As to your favorite sections — Research News and Review Features score most highly. We also asked for your suggestions for topics that would be of interest to cover in the future. While those requests were understandably diverse, we did manage to identify some areas of common interest that we will attempt to satisfy over the next year. It is no surprise that anything ‘nano’ comes high on the list and we will be reviewing the practicalities of nanofabrication and the promise of nanoelectronics in the months to come. Energy generation is another hot topic and 2003 will see issues devoted to the emerging areas of solid-state ionic conductors and hydrogen storage materials. Our readers also appear keen to bring the ‘bio’ into materials, which we will reflect by covering biocomposites and biocompatible (and incompatible) coatings. We will get the new year off to a flying start by reviewing some of the more intriguing topics of materials research — from quantum computers to molecular machines.

We’ve also taken some of your other suggestions to heart. As you may have noticed already, we have started running book reviews in recent months and will continue to do so on a regular basis. We are also launching a spot reviewing web-sites and the plethora of information available on the web. To review the status of our own web-site, the good news is that Materials Today is now available via ScienceDirect (, which will also service as a permanent archive, and that changes and additions are planned for in the coming year.

On a somewhat sadder note, this month will see the last Cahn’s Column. Robert has fascinated and intrigued us without fail in his columns and is now taking a well-deserved respite from the burden of monthly deadlines! In his place, we will have two worthy successors who, I am certain, will draw our attention to many different of aspects of materials science — from history to the intersection with art.

One question provoked some disagreement of opinion among our readers. Rather like Goldilocks in the bears’ house, some readers think Materials Today should be bigger, some thought it should be shorter, but most — we’re pleased to say — thought it was just right. We hope you continue to think so!

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(02)01201-4