Over the last two decades interest in direct realisation of evolutionary process and the possibilities presented by real time evolution experiments with microbes have escalated. Long-term selection experiments with bacteria have made increasingly transparent the process of evolution by natural selection. In this short article we consider what next for the field and do so by highlighting two areas of interest: the genotype-to-phenotype map and the constraints it imposes on evolution, and studies on major evolutionary transitions and in particular the importance of selection working over more than one timescale. The latter we discuss in light of new technologies that allow imposition of Darwinian properties on populations and communities and how this allows exploration of new avenues of research. We conclude by commenting on microbial communities and the operation of evolutionary processes that are likely intrinsic — and specific — to communities.