Updated: Sep 13, 2022
Vincent Pieribone (V.P.), Chief Scientist and Co-CEO at OceanXplorer, the most advanced exploration and research vessel worldwide. Professor in Cellular and Molecular Physiology & Neuroscience at Yale University School of Medicine.
MONACŒCOART® : Media and social media information on the environment often tends to push public opinion to extremes: from catastrophism to total denial of human impacts on the environment, what is the most important message to convey about ocean health in your direct experience?
V.P.: Your assessment is definitely correct. We have tried to let the science drive us being determined to have real media on board in an attempt to mitigate extreme opinions. At the moment when the entire ecosystem of the oceans should collapse it would be a serious problem for all of us. Of course, we do not need to exaggerate in conveying messages but a world without marine biodiversity would not be where we would like to live in. The change of oceans levels will impact on thousands of people. We do believe it is fundamental to keep together science and communication providing faithful statements without necessarily upsetting the audience. Unfortunately, in climate science, a lot of the predictions made few years ago have worsened in the reality. Historic scientific recording is crucial to try to better understand causes. Denying all related triggers is wrong. What we could face in the near future is a global experiment of unknown consequences. It is not just a problem but a combination. Overfishing, pollution, coastal damages just to name some.
MONACŒCOART® : Is there a scientific mission to which you are particularly attached? Why?
V.P.: Actually, I feel like a film director talking about his latest productions. Red Sea was surely a unique experience but I am looking for the next adventure in Indonesia. We have been there and it is a captivating place. But once you do in-depth research, every stop becomes unforgettable. That has just happened with the Red Sea.
MONACŒCOART®: Did you make any important discovery during your recent mission in the Red Sea?
V.P.: We found out many unknown species! All scientists, myself included, were excited in discovering which amazing living beings exist in nature that can give us valuable bio-tech, bio-mechanical and bio-medical solutions to have less impact on the environment. Blue economy can act as the driving force. ***
By Maurice Abbati