The David J. Sencer CDC Museum will feature changing exhibits over the coming years to supplement our permanent installations. New changing exhibits are in the works, so please check back with us.
Changing Winds: Public Health and Indian Country
September 21, 2019 – May 1, 2020
Changing Winds: Public Health and Indian Country is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives to public health. Aligning good health and wellness with the traditional ways of knowing is at the forefront of culture, language, and practices across American Indian and Alaska Native communities—both rural and urban.
This exhibition demonstrates how tribal nations are addressing modern day challenges for good health and wellness while using traditional knowledge and practices for public health. Its stories provide a glimpse into the diverse cultures and continuing challenges affecting tribal communities across the U.S.
Also on view is The Roots of Wisdom: Native Knowledge. Shared Science., organized by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. From restoring ecosystems to revitalizing cultural practices, Roots of Wisdom provides examples of how traditional knowledge and Western science together create complementary solutions to contemporary concerns.
In 1967, a new hemorrhagic fever was reported in lab workers in Europe – it would come to be called Marburg, and was eventually traced back to imported African green monkeys. To safely study Marburg virus, which still has no vaccine and no cure, CDC repurposed a mobile laboratory from the National Cancer Institute. Development began almost immediately, and in 1969, the first maximum security laboratory opened on Roybal Campus. Over the past 50 years, the design and construction of high containment laboratories (HCLs) at CDC have kept pace with advances in lab technology and research methodology. Staying on the cutting edge of scientific innovation has allowed the HCLs to play a vital role in investigating and responding to newly discovered infectious diseases.
While CDC reflects on the successes of the past 50 years in the HCLs, we also look ahead to what is on the horizon: in an increasingly mobile and connected world, the next outbreak could be just a plane ride away. Thanks to state-of-the-art research facilities like the HCLs – and the dedicated laboratory scientists who work in them – CDC remains vigilant, ready to respond.
The Story of CDC traces the origins and early history of CDC through its expansion into an agency of public health programs emphasizing prevention. The story is told through documents, photographs and objects from the CDC Collection. Highlights include an early 20th century quarantine sign, a wooden intelligence test, Dr. Joseph Mountin’s microscope, an iron lung, QUAC sticks used during the Biafra famine, a ped-o-jet used in the campaign to eradicate smallpox, and many more fascinating items and stories.
The Messengers sculpture is a large-scale serpentine stone sculpture by renowned artist Lameck Bonjisi of Zimbabwe, who died of AIDS in 2003. The Messengers is an example of Shona sculpture, reflecting traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean culture. The intention of the artist was to honor his ancestors and to represent the strength of families. CDC has chosen the work as a symbol of this facility’s mission – to educate all who visit about the interplay of public health, culture, and community.
Global Symphony is an unparalleled multi-media installation highlighting the world of CDC and public health. Spanning 100 feet in length, the Global Symphony is more than just pleasing to the eye. Public health messages are communicated through intriguing narratives alternated with visual vignettes. The installation serves as an introduction to CDC and public health for all visitors.
Currently, the Global Symphony features 4, three–minute stories that describe in depth CDC’s contributions to the elimination of polio, the investigation of Legionnaire’s disease, the battle to stem the rise of obesity in the United States, and the study of how humans, animals, and the environment interact in the spread of Ebola. The stories are complemented by a wide range of media pieces on public health topics – from HIV/AIDS to worker safety.