During the Fourth Preparatory Meeting of the U.N. Seabed Committee in July and August, the subject of marine science research became a substantive issue that will be on the agenda for future conferences on the Law of the Sea. Although it is much too early to predict the outcome of international negotiations on this issue, it is already clear that the recommended policy of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences will not prevail. This is not surprising because this policy represents a liberal approach of scientists from a highly developed country, and it cannot be expected that developing nations within the present international political climate will necessarily share this position. In general, the Academy policy favored the maximum freedom of open scientific research in the three zones of jurisdiction that seem to be emerging: territorial waters, an intermediate or resource zone, and the remaining open ocean. It seems unlikely at this stage that within the territorial waters and the intermediate zone future scientific research will be conducted without first obtaining permission from the coastal state. This situation is not insignificant since these areas might constitute as much as 30% of the world ocean. Moreover, there is concern that even on the open ocean, permission for scientific research will require prior approval from some as yet undefined international authority.