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Biomedicine in museums

NLM's public health exhibition: 'Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health'

By October 20, 2008No Comments

Some time ago, the National Library of Medicine opened a new exhibition called ‘Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health’ in the library foyer on NIH campus, Bethesda. Featured stories include the early years of the AIDS epidemic in the US, the Chinese barefoot doctor movement, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, and the WHO smallpox eradication program.

I haven’t seen the physical exhibition, only the web version. Admittedly, public health is probably one of the most difficult topics for exhibitions (physical or web-based). But given NLM’s huge economic ressources, one could expect something much better. For example, take a look at the online games on the Online Activities & Resources page. If you haven’t seen a late-1990s interactive website before, here’s your chance; it’s against the odds.

A laudable aim — to illustrate “the importance of clean water, safe housing, nutritious food, affordable healthcare, and protection from violence in fostering health and wellbeing” — is lost in a pretty boring web product.

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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