1. We have chosen papers which we feel are representative of important subjects which have been covered by the Journal over a period of 50 years. We would not claim that these are objectively the best papers, for that is a matter of personal judgement, but we consider that they have made significant contributions to knowledge and understanding in poultry behaviour and welfare. 2. John Savory has selected 8 papers from Volumes 1-25 of British Poultry Science (1960-1984), which deal with 5 different aspects of behaviour and welfare: embryonic responses, feather pecking and cannibalism, cage floor preferences, lameness in broilers and myopathy in turkeys. 3. Barry Hughes has selected 11 papers from Volumes 26-50 (1985-2009) of British Poultry Science. Four topics been chosen: broken bones in layers, furnished cages, interaction of birds with machines, and stocking density and bird space.