Materials Matter has three objectives: to examine the history of industrial materials and the impact of their development on human health and the environment; to examine potential future routes for materials development that might be more conducive to health and environmental protection; and finally to consider what private and public policies could most effectively guide such developments. As Kenneth Geiser rightly points out, public movements have focused almost exclusively on the environmental impacts of production and their social costs, rather than industrial materials and production processes themselves. Geiser produces a similar detailed breakdown of the sorts of commodity that could or do have industrial applications. He argues that this has benefits such as diversification of agricultural markets, the better utilization of land resources and the reduction of farm commodity surpluses. With Materials Matter, he has shown that he is a first-class historian of materials technology and a policy analyst of the most acute and discerning kind.