Marian Koshland Science Museum receives NIH funding for infectious diseases exhibit

December 29, 2005

The Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences has received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science Education Partnership Awards. The museum will use the $1.3 million award to fund a new interactive exhibit based on 50 National Academies studies related to infectious diseases. The new exhibit will engage visitors through interactive displays that explore the impact of personal and national decisions that could affect their health.

Erika Shugart, deputy director for science of the Koshland Science Museum, stated, "The Koshland Museum explains today's hot topics and helps visitors understand the evidence behind current debates. The infectious diseases exhibit will provide lifelong learners with state-of-the-art resources to understand this global issue." The new exhibit, set to open in spring 2007, will educate museum visitors about topics such as vaccines, bacterial resistance to antibiotics, and the global burden of infectious disease. These topics were selected by the exhibit's scientific steering committee, chaired by Elliott Kieff of Harvard University.

To increase public understanding of science and to encourage students' interest in research careers, Science Education Partnership Awards (SEPA) fund programs that target K-12 students and teachers, as well as programs and exhibits at science centers and museums across the country. SEPA partnerships develop projects that educate the general public about health and disease, with the aim of helping people make better lifestyle choices.

"The SEPA program is an important part of our public outreach efforts. It's critical to the future of the nation's health that Americans have a better understanding of clinical research and the life sciences in general," said NIH Director Elias A. Zerhouni. "By combining the talents and expertise of researchers, teachers, and museum specialists, these programs create excitement about scientific discoveries and deliver important health information to a wide spectrum of audiences."
Located at 6th & E streets, N.W., in Washington, D.C., the Marian Koshland Science Museum features state-of-the-art exhibits that present the complexities of science in an engaging and accessible way to the general public. Best enjoyed by visitors ages 13 and older, the museum explores current scientific issues at the core of many of the nation's public policy decisions, as presented in reports by the National Academies. For more information, please visit

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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