The proceedings of the international conference on "Progress in oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea", held in Rome, in November 1997, have recently been published. The conference was supported and co-organized by the EU's Marine Science and Technology (MAST) research programme. The event aimed to provide the opportunity to present important scientific results on the oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea, which originated from different projects supported by the Commission, and to synthesize existing knowledge in the field. The conference also reflected the end of the pilot phase and the start of the second phase of the Mediterranean Targeted Project (MTP I and II, 1993-1999), the major interdisciplinary project supported by the MAST programme. The volume contains the full texts of the chairmen's reports outlining the major points addressed during the different sessions at the conference, which covered a range of topics under the following headings: - The Mediterranean Sea: a changing environment; - Marine productivity and dynamics of the pelagic ecosystem of the Mediterranean Sea; - Biogeochemical fluxes and benthic ecosystem response; - The Mediterranean Sea: past and present; - From oceanographic science to policy. Details of the keynote speakers' presentations, the young scientists' session and the poster sessions are also included, and a full list of the conference participants is provided at the end of the report.