We are living in the age of genomics. Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code is a dynamic new exhibition that aims to demystify the genome and increase public literacy about genomics. Guests explore the implications of deciphering DNA, from advancing medical research, to uncovering the odyssey of our human ancestry, to revealing Earth’s incredible diversity. Unraveling life’s instruction manual comes with ethical, legal and social challenges that are thoughtfully explored throughout the exhibition.
To develop the project, Evidence Design collaborated with a vast number of curators and educators at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and scientists from the National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).
The exhibit conveys the underlying interconnectedness of life with undulating fabric walls that form thematic alcoves. Artifacts, hands-on activities and bold graphics emerge from cell-like decks, while organically shaped screens display vibrant interactive media above. A human figure wrapped in phosphorescent genetic code presides over the immersive environment as guests delve into the science, the promise and the questions associated with our evolving understanding of the genome.
The 2013 opening marks the 60th anniversary of Watson and Crick’s discovery of DNA’s structure and the 10th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project, the first sequencing of all 3 billion units that make up the human DNA code. After one year at NMNH, the exhibition will travel to other venues around the United States for the next five years.