DURING THE COMING YEAR, the editors and editorial board of the Archives of Ophthalmology will be attempting to forecast coming trends in ophthalmology and visual science for the next century. The very fact that you are reading this editorial in the January 2000 issue suggests that the warnings and predictions relating to the year 2000 problem came to naught (no pun intended), at least as far as the editorial and publishing capabilities of the ARCHIVES are concerned. Therefore, it might seem foolhardy to undertake the onerous assignment of predicting the future of an innovative specialty that has been in the forefront of molecular genetics (the retinoblastoma story), physics (the excimer laser), and neurobiology (neuronal apoptosis). If one compares the contents of the current issue that you are holding in your hands with that first issue published more than 130 years ago in 1869 under the editorial direction of Hermann Knapp, one sees enormous differences. With admitted apprehension, we now attempt to extrapolate forward into the next hundred years to try and imagine what might become possible as our specialty continues to advance.
To do this, we have asked members of the ARCHIVES editorial board to peer into the future and report what might transpire in their subspecialties. We hope that their prescience and expertise will lend some insight, or more appropriately, foresight, into coming developments. Unlike the articles that we usually publish, which rely on laboratory, epidemiological, or clinical data, we have given these authors the liberty to think "outside the box" and try to imagine what this new century will bring. We hope that this view into the millennium, or at least the first part of it, makes for enjoyable reading, and we welcome comments about the assumptions or predictions made.