10 years ago, I obtained a PhD.
Today one of my soul-sister reminded me that, around this time ten years ago, we were both celebrating the long, painful but fruitful journey which had us being awarded the Doctorate of Philosophy. In my case, in Ecophysiology, Metabolism and Statistics.
They say a PhD is the graduation stage of a scientist as an individual researcher, a leader in their field of study and a potential creator of projects.
During my Viva Vocce (oral presentation and defence) of my thesis, the internal examiner ignorantly laughed at the amazing figures and conclusions I had reached in a very out-of-fashion but still pertinent subject: energetics of marine planktonic beings and their survival strategies.
I remember looking at his face, having the serenity of submitting a great piece of work, whilst the external examiner, my supervisor and the head of the department interceded to support me and, mostly, stopping him from making fool of himself even more.
That moment, I smiled at him and thought:
“I am so happy I will never have to look at egotistic xenophobe misogynistic insecure and bully faces like yours ever again in Academia”.
That same day, without really noticing, I decided I would leave the academic research and little by little I started making my way into the real research that had always interested me:
– The research of the individual –
I have never looked back.
It has been a profound challenging and unstoppable process of discovery, analysis and evolution. Above all, about myself. Off course!
And the best about it is that instead of having to wait approximately 20 years to see the applications of my knowledge, as it happens in academic research, I can share my learnings, my conclusions, my inventions straight away, spreading the benefits of living a healthier and more connected existence at a direct and interactive level with all.
What is science if not to be at the service of humanity?
(An homage to all beautiful cyprid larvae whose fabulous astounding swimming speed of 6.4 cm per second originated the whole embarrassing debate with the Professor.
May you continue to swim and swirl and jump the infinite waters of the ocean, searching and trusting that at one moment, any time, you will find a good substratum where to develop your full potential.)
Photo credits: Charles Krebbs, 2011, with written permission.