The modern theory of the atomic nucleus results from the merging of the liquid drop (Niels Bohr and Fritz Kalckar) and of the shell model (Marie Goeppert Meyer and Axel Jensen), which contributed the concepts of collective excitations and of independent-particle motion respectively. The unification of these apparently contradictory views in terms of the particle-vibration (rotation) coupling (Aage Bohr and Ben Mottelson) has allowed for an ever increasingly complete, accurate and detailed description of the nuclear structure, Nuclear Field Theory (NFT, developed by the Copenhagen-Buenos Aires collaboration) providing a powerful quantal embodiment. In keeping with the fact that reactions are not only at the basis of quantum mechanics (statistical interpretation, Max Born) , but also the specific tools to probe the atomic nucleus, NFT is being extended to deal with processes which involve the continuum in an intrinsic fashion, so as to be able to treat them on an equal footing with those associated with discrete states (nuclear structure). As a result, spectroscopic studies of transfer to continuum states could eventually use at profit the NFT rules, extended to take care of recoil effects. In the present contribution we review the implementation of the NFT program of structure and reactions, setting special emphasis on open problems and outstanding predictions.