In 2016 Current Topics in Developmental Biology (CTDB) will celebrate its 50th or "golden" anniversary. To commemorate the founding of CTDB by Aron Moscona (1921-2009) and Alberto Monroy (1913-1986) in 1966, a two-volume set of CTDB (volumes 116 and 117), entitled Essays on Development, will be published by Academic Press/Elsevier in early 2016. The volumes are edited by Paul M. Wassarman, series editor of CTDB, and include contributions from dozens of outstanding developmental biologists from around the world. Overall, the essays provide critical reviews and discussion of developmental processes for a variety of model organisms. Many essays relate the history of a particular area of research, others personal experiences in research, and some are quite philosophical. Essays on Development provides a window onto the rich landscape of contemporary research in developmental biology and should be useful to both students and investigators for years to come.