This is an interesting and useful compendium written by well established oceanographers. It will be of value to marine researchers and administrators. The editors deserve our thanks for a coherent attempt to review the relevance of ocean science to human concerns. The title, however, promises more—a 20/20 vision for the future. Yet, as the editors say ” the best we can do is look back on developments that have shaped marine science during the most recent decades.” In this spirit I went back to the previous “vision” commissioned by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in 1982—“Ocean Science for the year 2000”.