Holly Hasted

What is your field/topic of research?
My field of study is Museum Studies. Researchers in Museum Studies study things like why and how museums collect and display objects, and the role of museums in society. My topic is about expertise and knowledge production at University Museums in Norway, and I'm using Tromsø University Museum as a case study. The topic of knowledge production is also interesting to sociologists, therefore I’m affiliated with the Department of Social Sciences as well as Tromsø University Museum.

What is your motivation to do this particular research?
University Museums in Norway are one of the few organisations in society that both carry out scientific research and do science communication with the general public. This combination creates many fascinating opportunities from both a practice- and research-oriented perspective! How do researchers relate to members of the public? What impact can this hybrid organisation have in society? These are the kind of questions that interest me the most. I love museums and care deeply about their role in society as well as their potential.

Is there a specific event, experience or inspiration that made you interested in the field?
When I was a bachelor student in Canada, I attended a presentation by a consultant from one of the largest museum consultancies in the world. I was so inspired that I immediately decided to do a Master in Museum Studies, and from then worked at museums in England and Austria before moving to Norway. But I think the initial spark came from the many visits I had to museums as a child with my father. One of our favourites was the Viking site at L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. If my father were alive today, he would be thrilled that I study University Museums… in Norway no less!

Have you experienced any resistance or doubt about your own research?
Of course! I have come to learn that resistance and doubt are natural parts of doing research. To overcome these feelings, I try my best to live by this motto: to strive for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.