Over the last few years, research into consciousness has at last become accepted within the academic community. As John Searle puts it, raising the subject of consciousness in cognitive science discussions is no longer considered to be "bad taste'', causing graduate students to "roll their eyes at the ceiling and assume expressions of mild disgust.'' But why are we interested in consciousness? Most people are interested not just because of the academic and interdisciplinary challenges, but because of their personal experience - we have consciousness, we experience it; perhaps we even think that we "are'' it. But, if we are to make progress in studying consciousness, we will have to think about it very clearly, and engage in serious constructive dialogues between a variety of viewpoints. And that is the purpose of this journal. The field of consciousness studies is at a very early stage, characterized by crude theories, most of which are unlikely to stand the test of time. We prefer a broad, diverse and open conceptualization - including political consciousness, and ecological consciousness (for example in the sense of Bateson's ``ecology of mind''), but we do not wish to define for our authors exactly what any of these terms mean. We seek to provoke a spirited debate by actively seeking serious opposing views, for example from cognitive science, biology and philosophy. The Journal of Consciousness Studies covers this broad field by: Presenting serious peer-reviewed scientific and humanistic papers in non-technical language; Including philosophical critiques of contemporary research; Considering submissions from all disciplines and viewpoints; Encouraging a robust and lively debate on the full range of issues involved.