The global network is more than ever taking its role as the great "enabler" for many branches of science and research. Foremost amongst such science drivers is of course the LHC/LCG programme, although there are several other sectors with growing demands of the network. Common to all of these is the realisation that a straightforward over provisioned best efforts wide area IP service is probably not enough for the future. This talk will summarise the needs of several science sectors, and the advances being made to exploit the current best efforts infrastructure. It will then describe current projects aimed as provisioning "better than best efforts" services (such bandwidth on demand), the global optical R&D testbeds and the strategy of the research network providers to move towards hybrid multi-service networks for the next generation of the global wide area production network.