Let's face it. There is no way of writing about the last half century of genetics without getting a little bit excitable. All of the terms in the title of this piece have been used by otherwise level-headed geneticists to describe the pace of change in genetics over the past few years. The thing is – they are right. Genetics is moving faster and faster. Five years ago, few people would have predicted that we would be where we are today. Five years from now, presumably, it will seem like 2015 was some kind of Dark Age when nothing much was happening. So it would be easy to lose perspective on the achievements of the past, or to assume that nothing much was happening in genetics until recently. However, everything that is happening in genetics now rests on the foundations built up over the past century, and particularly the past half century. And through that time, this journal has been a part of that story.