The current (18 October) issue of Nature http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7164/index.html in the "News and Views" section has this piece by Hermann Nicolai String theory: Back to basics p797 Hermann Nicolai Summary: "Long touted as a theory of everything, it seems that string theory may at last succeed as a theory of something very specific — the interactions of particles under the strong nuclear force." Hermann Nicolai strikes me as a modest person who would find it awkward to think of himself as Europe's most influential string theorist. But I think that is simply how it is. He is the Director of the Unified Theories wing of the Albert Einstein Institute at MPI Potsdam. http://www.aei.mpg.de/english/contemporaryIssues/home/index.html He and Roy Maartens are chief co-editors of the journal GRG. He partnered with Abhay Ashtekar in organizing the October 2004 Strings Meet Loops conference at the Potsdam Max Planck Institute (AEI). He is a key person on the directorate of the European Science Foundation Quantum Geometry/Gravity support network. And I'm sure I'm just scratching the surface. The fate of a lot of research depends on his judgment---so his vision of how things are going is part of the fundamental physics research climate. I remember Urs Schreiber reporting from some conference in Germany in 2004 and it was clear that for him (the smartest postdoc string theorist in the String Coffetable lineup) his conversation with Nicolai was the most important chat he had at the conference. If anybody can think of a Euro string-person of equal leadership standing, or wants to correct what I said, please say. Tell me somebody else. This is just my impression from observing the scene for a few years. I can't read Nicolai's opinion/perspective piece in this week's Nature, because i haven't a subscription. I'd be glad to see exerpts from it, if anybody has a subscription and wants to share. It could very well not be earthshaking at all, just a measured balanced mainstream Euro-string viewpoint. I don't care if there is something new in it or not--I'm interested to hear anything overview H.N. says.