Words and Waves research project

As the location of the European Marine Energy test Centre (EMEC), Orkney has become a focus for an emerging Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) sector, bringing the local community into contact with individuals, organisations and ideas from across the globe. In this interaction between the local community and the MRE sector the ongoing discourse engages with a range of local and global narratives, addressing issues such as energy policy, economic development, environmental protection and socio-cultural change.

My hypothesis is that stories matter. That narratives shape, and are in turn shaped by, a discourse community through the process of their telling and retelling.

To locate my research within the broad range of discourse which takes place about MRE I will be focusing on the Marine Environment as the physical context in which, and about which, this discourse takes place.

The future story of Marine Renewable Energy and its role in the wider story of Twenty-first-Century climate change, environmental impact and energy challenges, will depend on which stories get told and who tells them.  It will also depend  on how well we are able to listened to and understand these stories, and this in turn rests on our ability to understand ourselves and the nature of our dialogical relationship with our environment.