In these strange times, engagement with the natural environment has been highlighted as a precious part of our ability to survive, make sense of the world around and within us, and mediate our health at all levels of being. The importance of the natural environment’s place has been foregrounded, as has our impact on it. So too, has our ability to redress the balance when – motivated to do so.

For institutions whose business is engagement with this environment, it may be an opportune moment to ask questions of critical reflexivity. 

How are NTNU’s discourses shaping the way in which it engages with the natural environment? Do these discourses affect the way in which its stakeholders are perceived? What are the limits of NTNU’s episteme, and how might these be identified, to illuminate the ways in which stakeholders are ‘produced’ by discourse?

How might we apply the imaginary, as a sensory modality, to enliven and enchant knowledge-making, rather than aim simply at explanation? Could the inclusion of a fuller range of voices – not only from other disciplines and external stakeholders but from within our non-professional selves – add a lyrical dimension to saltwater worlds, or renew our reverence for the natural environment? Could these enchantments leak into our disciplinary philosophies, daily working habits, informal opinions or formal communications to improve research outputs in some way?

How do different research centres, departments or individuals at NTNU reinforce language use? How dimensional are their vocabularies? Do these practices change with context, audience, or over time? Are they static? How might we make ourselves more sensitive to the contours, textures and patterns in our language? How may we enrich the ways in which we use language, by widening the semantic net beyond our own disciplines? From morphemes to gestalt verbal units, what changes can be affected? How can we develop individual or collective practices for magnifying and demagnifying our field of attention, with respect to our dialects?