Standardization News

The 10 Most Read Features of 2019

Readers voted with their index fingers. Now SN Online presents the 10 most popular stories of the year.
David Walsh

The world of standards closely parallels the world of high-tech innovation. When technologies such as exoskeletons, additive manufacturing, and air taxis trend on social media and make news headlines on your favorite websites, the accompanying standards work is often already in progress – if not completed. 

In 2019, the link between standards and innovation was clearly illustrated on the pages of Standardization News as well as in the collection of features that became the most popular with readers of SN Online. Here are the ten most read stories of 2019 on

1. Standards for Biodegradable Plastics

The “Pacific Trash Vortex” continued to make headlines in 2019, with National Geographic famously profiling the debris collection in its June issue. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that a feature on standards for polymers that degrade and dissolve was the most read item of the year on SN Online.

2. Back to the Moon

The fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing was big news in 2019, and the Standardization News feature on the standards that will help make a return mission possible captured the imaginations of readers.

3. The Future of Exoskeleton Standards (*Online Only)

Exoskeletons promise to make workers more efficient, give soldiers enhanced strength, and help those with disabilities walk. Standards will help make these promises reality.          

4. The Promise of Urban Air Mobility

Mention the words “air taxi” and you will evoke memories of “The Jetsons” for many. Readers found the topic of standards for this futuristic vehicle intriguing enough to make it the fourth most read feature of 2019.

5. The 5 Most Important Standards in Additive Manufacturing (*Online Only)

Additive manufacturing continues to transform the world of manufacturing. The standards being developed by ASTM International and its AMCOE are supporting this revolutionary technology. 

6. Cannabis Standard Development Efforts Off to a Fast Start

The cannabis industry continues to grow rapidly, and the development of standards to support it appealed to many readers in 2019. This is the first of two related items on the list of most read features.

7. Playing Hardball with Standards

The opening of baseball season and the ongoing controversy surrounding the unusual number of homeruns being hit in MLB made the subject of standards for baseball bats and balls one of the most read features of the year. 

8. Two Cannabis Standards You Should Know About (*Online Only)

Cannabis standards with implications for freshness and weight due to moisture are already making an impact on the market.

9. Earthen Floor Standard Aims to Promote Sustainability

Standards help the world work better, and a standard that assists builders in the creation of affordable and durable housing in the developing world is a wonderful example of this.

10. The Fight Against PFAS

The issue of PFAS in the world’s water supply was another topic that captured the news cycle in 2019, and Standardization News’ coverage of ASTM International’s standards supporting remediation of this toxin rounds out the list of most read features.