More research in museums

More research in museums

Av Forskerforum

Publisert 6. mai 2021 kl. 12:23

The increased focus on research stipulated in Norway’s 2021 Museum Report has been welcomed with open arms by many, but there is concern that the funding will be earmarked for higher education.

Museums have eagerly been awaiting the government’s white paper Museums in Society: Trust, Things and Time, and many were pleasantly surprised that research is high on the list of priorities. ‘It’s great to see that the Ministry of Culture has major ambitions for research in museums. But it will be interesting to find out whether they follow up with funds that match their ambitions’, says Brita Brenna, prof. of museology at UiO.

Proposals include closer cooperation between museums and higher education (HE), establishment of 15 research fellowships, and NOK 15 million in funds over five years for collaborative projects between museums and HE.

Despite the generally positive reception, there is also some concern. Jorunn Jernsletten, head of research at the Norwegian Museum Association, comments: ‘I am sceptical that the report places so much emphasis on close cooperation with HE. A one-sided focus on the notion that a collaboration with the HE sector is what it takes to boost research in museums can at worst reinforce the bias rather than even it out.’