In 2018, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History will launch Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, a major exhibition and programming effort aiming to explore emerging diseases at the intersection of animal, human, and environmental health. Prompted by the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak and the Zika epidemic, the exhibition will coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 1918 influenza pandemic.
Outbreak will raise public awareness and understanding of infectious diseases outbreaks, empowering its audiences to respond knowledgeably to disease outbreaks in their own communities, understand what they can do to protect themselves and their families, and see what role they can play to impact future outbreaks. During its three-year run at the museum, Outbreak expects to reach an estimated 8 million visitors. The Smithsonian will build global awareness of pandemics, the ecology and evolution of emerging infectious diseases, and how they impact the public’s everyday lives.