“The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves.” ~ Dr. Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace
Since I was young, I’ve always had an affinity with Nature. My parents would take my brother and I to visit various nooks and crannies around Singapore, especially the coastlines. Eventually, I found my way to a career in environmental science, cemented by my first visit to Singapore’s marine station and meeting with local marine biologists. With a rich marine life just a stone throw away from my home, I wanted to tell Singaporeans about the wonderful critter neighbours that’s living so close to us. I started to ‘tell stories’ about 10 years ago in the form of a nature blog. It was meant as a platform for me to share about marine life and marine science research in Singapore.
Communicating environmental issues have been a challenge, as the problems aren’t always directly affecting people. Despite this, I continued to trudge on this path – for the more scepticism I met, the more determined I am to speak up for the environment and change their mindsets. I began to practice science writing and communication – it wasn’t easy at first, where I spent hours researching the materials, fine-tuning my sentences, and reading out loud to make sure it easy to understand!
Even though science communication and public engagement are atypical tasks for a scientist, I learnt that by being approachable and willing to share help me connect with the general audience easily. Through this engagement, I hope to influence them to change their mindsets, behaviour and actions with respect to the ongoing environmental crisis.
I remain hopeful that my individual efforts will pay off, as I see how my work have translated to many layers in civil society, such as bringing science to the masses via my blog, inspiring my students to become advocates of good science, as well as having the opportunity to speak to our government officials about the work we do for the marine environment. 🙂
- Celebrating Singapore Shores (Co-founder)
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) Steering Committee, Youth Engagement and Intergenerational Partnership (Youth Ambassador)
- International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) Molluscs Specialist Group (Expert Contributor)
- Mothers in Science (Contributor)
- Singapore Institute of Biology (SIBiol) (Lifetime Member)
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook (GEO), Youth (Lead Author; Contributing Author)
- Singapore Tatler, 19 September 2019: “Rolex Perpetual Planet Campaign Inspires Marine Ecologist Neo Mei Lin To Do More For Planet Earth” [Interview in first person]
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), February 2019: “GEO for Youth, Asia and the Pacific“
- ENVISION Magazine (National Environment Agency), May/June 2018: “Floating Plastic, Hidden Danger“
- High Net Worth, 8 Dec 2017: “Stories of Gratitude: Neo Mei Lin“
- Asian Scientist, 27 Sep 2017: “Taking to TED To Champion The Cause of Clams (Video)”
- Forbes.com, 28 Jul 2017: “How One Marine Biologist Is Working To Save The Giant Clam”
- World Economic Forum, Agenda, 22 Jun 2016: “Q&A: What has the panda got that giant clam hasn’t?” [XxXX series of interviews with female scientists]
- Asian Scientist, 16 Jun 2016: “Asia’s Rising Scientists: Neo Mei Lin”
TED: TED Fellow “The Fascinating Secret Lives of Giant Clams”
World Economic Forum: “The Big Picture on Oceans“
TEDxACSIndependent: “The unsung heroes of the seas“
University of British Columbia, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries: “Conservation Research of Giant Clams“