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Journal Club

May 23, 2018


“Outbreak” Exhibit Debuts at Smithsonian

Smithsonian-IDSA Partnership Provides Opportunity for Member Involvement

IDSA is proud to have collaborated on the installation of “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World” which opened last week at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The exhibit gives guests a close look at the origins of infections and examines how outbreaks are handled.The exhibition, which will remain on view for three years, marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic. With available modern methods, the exhibit traces the detective work behind the interdisciplinary scientific teams that identify the causes of outbreaks as well as work with governments and public health groups to halt disease outbreaks.


Paul Auwaerter, MD, FIDSA; Cindy Sears, MD, FIDSA; David Hardy, MD; Andrea Weddle, Karen Auwaerter.

“This exhibition demonstrates how fundamentally important infectious diseases experts, physicians, and scientists are to our good health. A well-funded U.S. public health infrastructure is critical to keep our nation free of dangerous contagions that also requires strategic works abroad before problems come to our shores,” said Dr. Auwaerter. “This demonstration helps visitors truly understand how infectious diseases can affect everyone.”

Throughout the hands-on exhibit, guests will hear personal perspectives and follow real-life case studies to learn how outbreaks spread and become epidemics. The exhibit incorporates interactive manual and digital elements including maps, murals, simulated viruses and other displays.

In addition to providing financial support, IDSA members also met with Smithsonian curators during the development of the exhibit to discuss the scientific content, particularly focusing on necessary global efforts to both prevent and extinguish outbreaks and pandemics.

Show Off Your ID Knowledge at the Smithsonian


IDSA members will have the opportunity to serve as experts embedded in the exhibit and to host customized “pop-up” versions of the exhibit at their respective institutions. More information about how to take advantage of these opportunities will be forthcoming. We are excited about the opportunity to share the fascinating world of infectious diseases with a broader audience.

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