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  • French science faces an uncertain future as the new government struggles with a fractured parliament.

  • Synthetic stimuli-responsive systems have become increasingly sophisticated and elegant at the nanoscale. This Comment discusses how rationally designed molecular systems capable of dynamic motions can be deployed in macroscopically porous metal–organic frameworks and respond to various stimuli.

    • Jinqiao Dong
    • Vanessa Wee
    • Dan Zhao
  • Hui Deng, professor at the University of Michigan, talks to Nature Materials about the evolution of research in polariton physics over recent years and discusses the role of emerging materials in promoting a scenery full of challenges and possibilities.

    • Amos Martinez
  • Materials discovery and advances in synthesis are driving the fields of exciton and exciton–polariton physics, moving towards on-demand engineering of many-body quasiparticle interactions in solid-state systems.

  • Materials scientists have played a key role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic from the development of vaccines and diagnostic tools to the rapid prototyping of ventilators.

  • A return to in-person and hybrid conferences is more than welcome and sure to inspire.

  • Pioneer of polyamorphism and enthusiast for the solid state.

    • Andrea Sella
    • Alexandra Navrotsky
  • The dissemination of synthetic biology into materials science is creating an evolving class of functional, engineered living materials that can grow, sense and adapt similar to biological organisms.

  • From the realization of their true nature one hundred years ago to the latest approaches for structuring materials using molecular weaving, high-molecular-weight polymers still have much to offer society.

  • Proposed new regulations for the European battery industry could end up making the electrification of transport harder — and reveal the complexity of creating sustainable markets.

  • Ferrimagnets and topological insulators offer new platforms for utilizing the spin of electrons in functional materials.

  • Automated experiments can accelerate research and development. ‘Flexible automation’ enables the cost- and time-effective design, construction and reconfiguration of automated experiments. Flexible automation is empowering researchers to deploy new science and technology faster than ever before.

    • Benjamin P. MacLeod
    • Fraser G. L. Parlane
    • Curtis P. Berlinguette
  • Innovations in soft materials design and engineering are delivering promising functional components for advanced soft robotic applications.

  • New classes of functional soft materials show promise to revolutionize robotics. Now materials scientists must focus on realizing the predicted performance of these materials and developing effective and robust interfaces to integrate them into highly functional robotic systems that have a positive impact on human life.

    • Philipp Rothemund
    • Yoonho Kim
    • Christoph Keplinger
  • Nanoarchitecture design of materials offers great opportunities to achieve unusual properties, but requires fabrication techniques that ensure sufficient resolution and material quality.

  • Research continues to showcase the versatility and application potential of perovskites, while our understanding of their structural and mechanical properties continues to improve.

  • DNA is much more than the genetic information it carries. It is a versatile material for creating systems with tailor-made functionalities that are having an important impact in emerging technologies.

  • Gabriele Rainò, Lukas Novotny and Martin Frimmer discuss the approach they are pursuing at ETH Zürich to provide students with an education in quantum engineering.

    • Gabriele Rainò
    • Lukas Novotny
    • Martin Frimmer
    Why it Matters
  • Technological civilization often depends on processes that have a significant environmental impact, but emissions control catalysts or porous adsorbent materials can ameliorate these risks.

  • The area confined between grains in polycrystalline materials can undergo phase transformations under external stimuli, providing prospects for materials design based on grain boundary phase engineering.