Joining, while first and foremost a pragmatic undertaking, concerned more with needs and results than with theory, will likely have to change with the dawn of the twenty‐first century to a true science. As materials become ever‐more sophisticated in their chemical composition, molecular morphology, micro‐ and nano‐structure, and macro‐structural arrangement to provide ever‐better functionally specific properties, a more complete and precise understanding of how such materials can be joined for optimal effectiveness and efficiency will become essential. Traditional options for joining will surely evolve – sometimes to provide unimagined capabilities. But, in addition, totally new methods will almost certainly emerge as evolution of materials gives way to revolution to meet unimagined new designs and design demands. This paper takes a glance at the past and a hard look at the present in the hope of catching a glimpse of the future.
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