Coupling between electrical and mechanical phenomena is ubiquitous in nature and underpins the functionality of materials and systems as diversified as ferroelectrics and multiferroics to electroactive molecules to biological systems. Recent years have witnessed significant growth of interest toward nanoscale electromechanics originating independently in ferroelectric/microelectromechanical systems, biological, nano- and material science, and organic chemistry communities. The interest is stimulated both by development of nanoscience and a necessity for efficient electromechanical motion transformation on the nanoscale and also recent emergence of scanning probe microscopy techniques capable of addressing electromechanical phenomena on a nanometer level (see schematic on cover page). In this issue of MRS Bulletin are focused contributions on an instrumental and theoretical basis of electromechanics and its applications in ferro- and piezoelectric, biological, and molecular systems. It is believed that the progress of nanoscience will bring the capability for not only computation (molecular electronics) but also for actuation and control on the nanometer and molecular levels. The technical and theoretical developments summarized in this issue form the foundation for these developments.