Paul Stamets is a biologist who specializes in, of all things, mushrooms. He feels that his field is greatly underappreciated. For instance, he discovered that some species of mushroom will destroy termites and carpenter ants, (which may put paid to the pesticide industry!). However his biggest contribution to history may well be the question he asked himself when he was kid...."what eats crude oil".
I mean, something must eat it....something eats most everything! He discovered that ordinary oyster mushrooms love salt water, and thrive on crude oil. Other mushrooms might work better, and from such questions are research projects made from. He is working on moulds and mushrooms which can turn cellulose (corn stalks, sawdust) into ethanol. His research may well be the most important scientific endeavor in the world today.
Here is the link to Paul's TED talk.
Its only 20 minutes.
Be prepared to be gob smacked.