Thor Heyerdahl Professorship


The four-year Thor Heyerdahl Professorship at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Ås has been in existence since autumn 2007. The Thor Heyerdahl Institute has made a strategic choice to contribute to the development of methodology for interdisciplinary research.

The overall objective of the Institute is to promote and develop the research and development ideals that were central to Thor Heyerdahl’s life and work. Thor Heyerdahl always adopted a visibly interdisciplinary approach to his work, but he only developed a limited methodology for transdisciplinary integration.

Thor Heyerdahl’s attitude to science and research was centred on his interest in cross-methodical research and interdisciplinary expertise. He himself drew on a variety of subject areas in order to establish a foundation for many of his hypotheses. He did not have a high opinion of researchers who are unable to see beyond their own areas of specialisation. His ability to to throw light on a problem by combining the relevant expertise from his own subject area with auxiliary information from other areas of specialisation was unique. Throughout his research career he was an exponent of interdisciplinary expertise and holism.

Thor Heyerdahl’s approach to science was characterised by the need to break boundaries and dismantle barriers, and his research shows a healthy scepticism to accepted truths. Thor Heyerdahl was able to perceive phenomena from a variety of angles, ask critical questions and sow doubt with regard to their authority. His presence often had the effect of a burning torch in terms of the motivational influence he had on the research circles in which he moved. His work was characterised by his ability to create debate, think alternatively and provoke.

News from Noragric


Thor Heyerdahl professorship - Activities for Arild Vatn
August 2010 – August 2011  Download pdf here

Thor Heyerdahl professorship - Activities for Arild Vatn
August 2009 – August 2010  Download pdf here

Thor Heyerdahl professorship - Activities for Arild Vatn
August 2008 – August 2009  Download pdf here