My research interests

My research interests are broad, and I have tried to capture the main themes in the diagram. My curiosity springs from a grounding in history and I have a keen eye for the relevance today of the past, while my curiosity drives me towards exploring new fields, often in interdisciplinary contexts.
I began as a medieval historian with a specialism in the Vikings in Ireland - an interest which I have kept alive through my career. 
In 1982 I was recruited at Aalborg University as research coordinator of the by then largest ever Scandinavian history project which also became the subject of my Dr.Phil. thesis on maritime connections in the Kattegat and Skagerrak, defended at Aarhus University. 
From there my journey went to the Fisheries and Maritime Museum in Esbjerg where I was responsible for the new permanent national fisheries exhibition, and eventually founded the Centre for Maritime and Regional History
I developed my research in maritime history into a specialism in marine environmental history, and I am one of the pioneers of an interdisciplinary combination of marine science and history. From 2000 the American A. P. Sloan Foundation, EU and national research councils provided a total of 15 million US dollars in support of a ten-year research plan of which I was the global chair. The History of Marine Animal Populations project continues and has some 100 associate researchers around the world, and was featured in Nature (October 2006). 
I believe it is time to develop translational humanities. This is a term that I would like to coin by borrowing from translational medicine. There are delays and obstacles at every level from laboratory to hospital bed, from biomedicine and psychology to the patient. This is why translational medicine is about ensuring that basic research and knowledge at each specialized level is translated to the next, and about developing relationships from research labs to hospitals, GPs and ultimately to the patients. Such a translation dimension is not typical in the humanities. We do not have the financial overheads that can pay the transaction costs. As a humanities scholar you must be both basic scientist and entrepreneur, translator and communicator, activist and lobbyist. If you are not able to play all parts, it is unlikely that your research will have impact.
My policy interests are directed towards co-editing a Humanities World Report. My interest in the wider development of the humanities stems from my four years as head of the Danish Research Council for the Humanities and as founding President of the current EU-funded network of research councils Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA). In 2008-09 I chaired the METRIS committee (Monitoring European Trends in Research in the Socio-economic sciences and humanities) for the EU Directorate-General for Research and gained a broad experience from working with fifteen eminent colleagues in the field. I also gained experience as President of three international academic organisations and as a member of the editorial team of several international journals. Recently, I was founding Director of the Trinity Long Room Hub (the humanities research institute at Trinity College Dublin), and founding President of the European Consortium for Humanities Institutes andCentres. This experience leads me to believe that the humanities have a major and unfulfilled role to play both in interdisciplinary academic research and in understanding human motivation and behaviour.
This blog is about my research interests. As regards teaching, my main interest is in developing interdisciplinary programmes, including two Structured PhD programmes, one in maritime history and one in digital arts and humanities, which I am currently directing, and a BA programme in Humanities and Technology at Roskilde University.
Research is collaborative and I have developed a large global network of friends and colleagues. I use linkedIn to keep track and my network is visualised below.