ellipse raised this issue of "string deadend?" or where is string research going. like, is it currently in a slump but will pick up later? or is it going down the tubes, or what? so if you want to, let's put down what we forecast for 2005 and then later, probably early next year when the results are in, we can check who guessed closest. In 2000 there were 21 recent string papers that got 100+ citations. The list is here http://www.slac.stanford.edu/library/topcites/top40.2000.shtml By recent, I mean published any time in the previous 5 years (1996 through 2000). In 2004 there were 8 recent string papers that got 100+ citations, the list is here http://www.slac.stanford.edu/library/topcites/2004/annual.shtml and recent means the previous 5 years (2000 through 2004). Citations (how many times other scholarly papers cite a given paper in their references) is a pragmatic indicator of how interesting or important or influential research is. research that other scholars think is important tends to get cited a lot. The citation count is not a perfect index but it is used a lot. That is why Stanford/SLAC library tabulates it. The drop in string citations between 2000 and 2004 is more marked if you look at the really highly cited papers, that get 125+. Then you see there were 16 recent such string papers in 2000 and only FOUR in 2004. But just for definiteness let's forecast the number of papers that get 100+ citations---there were 8 of them in 2004. And one can minimize the importance of this, or explain it away in various ways, or say that it is just a temporary slump, or doesnt mean anything. That is all fine, but anyway it is a change in a number which happened, and we can ask WHAT WILL THAT NUMBER BE IN 2005? Let's see what different forecasts we make and check later to see who got closest. How many recent string papers will get 100+ citations in 2005? Like the glory days: 11 or more Happiness returns: 10 Bit more than last year: 9 Same as last year: 8 Bit less than last year: 7 Bad news, slump continues: 6 Yikes!: 5 or less If you would like to, or if I goof and the poll mechanism doesnt register who guessed what, please post your guess and I will keep track.