Over the past 50 years, we have seen dramatic changes in cardiovascular science and clinical care, accompanied by marked declines in the morbidity and mortality. Nonetheless, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death and disability in the world, and its nature is changing as Americans become older, fatter, and ethnically more diverse. Instead of young or middle-aged men with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, the “typical” cardiac patient now presents with acute coronary syndrome or with complications related to chronic hypertension or ischemic heart disease, including heart failure, sudden death, and atrial fibrillation. Analogously, structural heart disease is now dominated by degenerative valve or congenital disease, far more common than rheumatic disease. The changing clinical scene presents cardiovascular scientists with a number of opportunities and challenges, including taking advantage of high-throughput technologies to elucidate complex disease mechanisms, accelerating development and implementation of evidence-based strategies, assessing evolving technologies of unclear value, addressing a global epidemic of cardiovascular disease, and maintaining high levels of innovation in a time of budgetary constraint and economic turmoil.