On November 2–3, 2000 Accademia dei Lincei, the Italian National Academy, convened an international meeting in Rome with the title “Advances on Micas (Problems, methods, applications in Geodynamics)”. The topics of this meeting were the mica minerals in their crystal-chemical, petrological, and historical aspects. The organisers were Academy members C. Cipriani, A. Mottana (co-chairman), F.P. Sassi (co-chairman), W. Schreyer, J.B. Thompson Jr., and B. Zanettin, with the co-operation of two Italian scientists well-known for their studies on layer silicates: Professors M.F. Brigatti and G. Ferraris. Financial support additional to that by the Academy was provided by C.N.R. (the Italian National Research Council), M.U.R.S.T. (the Italian Ministry for University, Scientific Research and Technology) and University of Rome III. Approximately 200 scientists attended the meeting, most of them Italians, but with a sizeable international participation. Thirteen invited plenary lectures and six oral presentations (out of many more offered ones) were given, and fourteen posters were on display. The amount of science presented was huge, although from the beginning the organisers had curtailed it to only a few of the variable aspects of mica studies, and promised others for a meeting to come.

The plenary lectures, which consist mostly of reviews, will be printed as book in the Review in Mineralogy and Geochemistry (RiMG) series, being apart of a co-operative project between Accademia dei Lincei and Mineralogical Society of America. Oral and poster presentations, that cover a wealth of novel aspects of mica research, were offered the opportunity of being printed in the European Journal of Mineralogy, as a part of an individual thematic issue. Such a call for publication was received enthusiastically, and the timely preparation of the special issue (so as to cope with the journal standards) created a good deal of work to both the Special Editors and the referees. Indeed, rapid publication, that is an absolute need for a thematic issue worth publishing, would have been impossible had we not received strong support by the referees, most of which reacted promptly and efficiently.

To all referees, to all participants either speaking or only listening, to the Accademia dei Lincei staff which supported the meeting with professional care, and, last but not least, to the EJM Editorial Board and staff which helped with easing up the entire publication process, we, the Special Editors, express our most sincere appreciation and thanks.