I’m Dr. Mike Gil, Ph.D., and I’m a marine biologist — a scientist, by profession. I started SciAll.org, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to share my story and my career with others. My mission is to spread far and wide the true meaning of science, in all of its mesmerizing, world-changing glory. This is something that took me many years to discover…
You see, I hated what I thought ‘science’ was when I was a kid. The information I memorized in my science classes seemed to be useless to my life. Needless to say, being a marine biologist never even entered my radar as a career option.
But then, I took an unexpected chance, and I found myself on the other side of the world, living on a remote tropical island that was dominated by lizards, working with marine biologists, and studying coral reefs. Since then, my career in science has taken me on many adventures, from sailing expeditions across the Pacific Ocean to doing field research and teaching science in French Polynesia and the Caribbean.
As a marine biologist in the field, nature is my office, my commute is on a boat, often through rough seas and nasty weather. My skills are as much improvisational as they are scientific.
My clients include sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, whales and reef fish. My colleagues are diverse and some of the most interesting, well-traveled people in the world. My job is to come up with clever ways to unlock Mother Nature’s secrets, so that we can sustain her for the future of our species.
I went from hating ‘science’ as a kid, to earning my PhD in marine biology, by discovering the best kept secret I’ve ever known: science is true adventure. So many people are like I used to be — indifferent or even negative about science. If they knew what I know, they’d feel differently, and this knowledge can be powerful — powerful enough to change someone’s life, maybe powerful enough to save the world.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a marine biologist? In the first SciAll.org series, Confessions of a Marine Biologist, I’ll show you what it’s like, behind the scenes (subscribe here, with a single click). It’s time to get the secret out…
I created SciAll.org for two reasons: one for me, and one for you. First, I’ve discovered that even the exciting world of marine biology can be isolating and sometimes pretty lonely (imagine Tom Hanks in Castaway, but replace Wilson with a field notebook). On a whim, at the end of an epic 3-month stretch doing field research on the coral reefs of French Polynesia, I made a music video, titled “Want to be a marine biologist?”:
Unexpectedly, I discovered that creating this video and ‘putting it out there’ on YouTube made me feel like my loved ones were with me, in a way (even if I was on the other side of the planet, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). More importantly, I quickly realized that I had struck a chord with a wide public audience — the kind of audience that science needs; the kind of audience that needs science (read more here).
Enter my second reason for creating SciAll.org: I think anyone (you, my next-door neighbor, my mom, your brother, your cat), could benefit from getting a ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at not just marine biology but science in general and what it has to offer in the way of both personal adventure and global discovery. I think science is generally misrepresented. This is certainly true in politics, but it is also true in schools around the world. Science is not just a collection of ‘boring facts’ — instead, science is an exciting, creative process that builds a road map for the human race, delivering true adventure in the process. This is an empowering notion that is worth spreading. After all, it could help save the world.
We can do it, and it can start here.