The future of the field of communication lies in the ability to produce a socially relevant scholarship, without which the field is unlikely to attract the best students, command significant societal resources, or make its greatest contributions to the world's store of knowledge. This volume presents a report of the first discipline-wide, nationally sponsored communication research conference in 20 years--the Tampa Conference on Applied Communication. As the next millennium approaches, the communication field will be challenged to take its place among the disciplines whose research makes a substantial contribution to the well-being of society. How the communication field should respond to that challenge was the focus of the conference and this volume. Crossing all disciplinary boundaries, Applied Communication in the 21st Century addresses issues of concern to all scholars in the communication field, regardless of their various subareas, and includes the recommendation of the conferees concerning issues and responsibilities of the field, research priorities, and graduate education.