Dr. Knute Nadelhoffer stands next to a statue of playwright Henrik Ibsen in Oslo, Norway in April, 2017. Dr. Nadelhoffer is living in Denmark and is on sabbatical until the fall. (Photograph: Barbara Billings)

For the past several months, Dr. Knute Nadelhoffer, the Director of the University of Michigan Biological Station and faculty member of the U-M Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been on sabbatical in Copenhagen. But he hasn’t just been resting during his time off: in April he wrote a guest editorial for Biogeochemistry, an open-access scientific publication.

Professor Kathryn Lajtha of Oregon State University, the editor-in-chief of Biogeochemistry, asked Dr. Nadelhoffer to be creative with writing his guest editorial. Drawing inspiration from his time living in Denmark and traveling in Norway, as well as his decade of working as a science advisor and board member for the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), Dr. Nadelhoffer was inspired to take a different approach to introduce his editorial.

In the article, which is available as an open-source document at http://rdcu.be/rJNW, he shares the narrative of An Enemy of the People, an 1882 play by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.  The story of Dr. Thomas Stockmann, while 135 years-old, harkens to our current scientific and political state. Using examples of his work with ELPC, Dr. Nadelhoffer outlines his ideas about how we can collectively move forward to form good environmental policies and initiatives in his article “What’s to do?”