Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World

May 18, 2018 – Spring 2021

National Museum of Natural History
10th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC

Floor Plan

Outbreak examines the ways infectious diseases reveal an intricate network between humans, animals, their environments, and microbes—why infectious diseases emerge where they do, how they spill over from animals to people, why they spread so quickly, and where to look for the next one. As the recent examples have shown, humans face potentially grave consequences as we begin to interact in new and complex ways with the changing global environment. Environmental changes enable local pathogens to evolve and, potentially, invade human hosts in ways and at scales we never imagined. The exhibition addresses public fears and media hype head-on, empowering visitors to respond to epidemics with knowledge and responsibility.