Marie Hobson has worked to support colleagues across the museum sector with insight and expertise relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the global pandemic, she created a Twitter account called Covid Museums, designed to serve as a forum to share data, methods, insights & issues relating to audience research and/or museum visitors during COVID-19. As well as using the account to promote relevant tweets about research findings, webinars and conferences, she summarised the emerging findings and shared those free of charge in an accompanying Google Drive.
As museum professionals worked through an extremely challenging period, this social media account became a safe place for visitor researchers to ask questions and to share concerns. Hobson also used it to share her experience of conducting online focus groups on the Natural History Museum’s webpage, in an effort to support other researchers as they grappled with this new method, while physical museum spaces were closed to the public.
In her role at the Natural History Museum, she helped to set and deliver the research and evaluation strategy for the Museum. She recently moved to a new role at The Victoria and Albert Museum.
Hobson has more than 10 years of experience in conducting research and evaluation within the museum and science communication field and has previously worked with both the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, in London. She also served as the first elected Chair of the Research and Evaluation (REV) thematic group at Ecsite, formed to stimulate and help facilitate research and evaluation in science centres and museums across Europe.
Hobson is currently studying for a professional doctorate at King’s College London, which involves investigating museum practitioners’ understanding of research and evaluation, professionalization of visitor studies and how to increase evaluation utilisation in organisations. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and a BA in archaeology from University College London.