NCSM and Science Museum Group join hands to take fight against antibiotic resistance across India

25 October,2018
  • National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) and Science Museum Group to tour new version of Superbugs exhibition to four venues across India
  • In partnership with the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) in India, the exhibition is expected to reach about 1 million people over 1 year
  • The tour has been made possible with support from Wellcome

The Science Museum Group is taking its 'Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives' exhibition on an international tour across India to help address the lack of public awareness and understanding about antibiotic resistance. In partnership with the National Council of Science Museums in India, new versions of the exhibition, specially developed for the country (India), will visit four venues and is expected to reach over one million people within one year.

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said: “Thanks to the National Council of Science Museums in India, as well as the support of Wellcome and the British Council in India, our Superbugs exhibition will reach important new audiences and help address misconceptions about antibiotics and the enormous challenge of antibiotic resistance.”

“Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing issues facing the globe today and my hope is that this is just the beginning of a world-wide exhibition tour that will engage people in many countries.""

Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives explores humanity's response to the unprecedented global threat of antibiotic resistance. Thanks to the support of Wellcome and the British Council in India, a bespoke version of the exhibition will be created for India, as per inputs received from local curators, research facilities, universities and hospitals. The tour will be supported by a specially developed events programme, new educational resources and workshops.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occurs when microbes, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, no longer respond to the drugs used to treat them, including antibiotics. Today these untreatable superbugs kill almost 700,000 people a year, and by 2050 this figure could rise to 10 million. Examining antibiotic resistance on a microscopic, human and global scale, this exhibition features remarkable scientific research from across the globe and reveals the personal stories of those waging war on superbugs. The exhibition also prompts visitors to act on an individual level, with the fight again these superbugs requiring individual participation to help protect the future of human health.

Arijit Dutta Choudhury, Director General of the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), India said, “Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives will be very relevant in India, where AMR poses a major risk to public health. Improving awareness and public understanding of AMR through effective communication, education and training is one of the key strategies to fighting the issue. The project will further strengthen the bond between the two leading Science Museums network in India & UK.”

According to Simon Chaplin, Director, Culture & Society at Wellcome, “At a time when more than 700,000 people die each year from drug-resistant infections, and rising, it is vitally important to find new treatments, reduce unnecessary antibiotic use and engage the public with this complex issue. Wellcome is committed to tackling what has become one of the biggest global health challenges facing the world today, and so we are delighted to support the Superbugs exhibition and to see countries working together as it tours to India and China.”

Mr. Alan Gemmell OBE, Director - India, British Council said “Scientific collaboration has been at the heart of the UK-India relationship and at the heart of our work in India. We're delighted to support the Science Museum's India tour of Superbugs.  We've been inspired by India every day of the last 70 years and we hope Superbugs will inspire young people across India to tackle one of the most critical challenges of our time.”

Superbugs also tours to four venues in China in partnership with the Guandong Science Center in Guangzhou in 2019.

A blueprint version of the Superbugs exhibition is also available to venues around the world to create their own unique exhibition experience, customised for local audiences.

The Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives international tour, in partnership with the National Council of Science Museums in India, will begin in September 2019. The tour has been made possible with support from Wellcome (Principal Funder) and additional support from the British Council in India and the BEIS Rutherford Fund. Further information about Science Museum Group touring exhibitions is available here:

For further information please contact:

Julia Murray, Science Museum Press Office, 020 7942 4328 or email

India Contacts:

S. Kumar, Director (Hqrs), National Council of Science Museums


Satyajit N. Singh, PRO, National Council of Science Museums


Note to editors

What is antibiotic resistance?

Antibiotics are chemicals made by bacteria and fungi to kill other bacteria. These naturally occurring medicines have been widely used since the 1940s to treat everything from tuberculosis and syphilis to sore throats. As antibiotic use has increased, bacteria have evolved resistance to specific antibiotics rendering them ineffective. This enables infections to persist, resulting in longer illnesses and more deaths. Bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics are known as superbugs.

Today, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health.


Alexander Fleming discovered the first widely-used antibiotic, Penicillin, in 1928. Penicillin was the first antibiotic to be mass produced, thanks to Nobel prize-winning research by Howard Florey, Ernst Chain and Oxford University and the efforts of several pharmaceutical companies. By that time, Fleming and others were already predicting the rise of superbugs.

About the Science Museum Group

The Science Museum Group is the world's leading group of science museums, welcoming over five million visitors each year to five sites: the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York; the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester; the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford; and Locomotion in Shildon. We share the stories of innovations and people that shaped our world and are transforming the future, constantly reinterpreting our diverse collection.

Standout objects include the record-breaking locomotive Flying Scotsman, Richard Arkwright's textile machinery, Alan Turing's Pilot ACE computer and the earliest surviving recording of British television. Our mission is to inspire futures - igniting curiosity among people of all ages and backgrounds. Each year, our museums attract more than 600,000 visits by education groups, while our touring exhibition programme brings our creativity and scholarship to audiences across the globe. More information can be found at

About Science Museum Group touring exhibitions

Superbugs and other inspiring exhibitions from across the Science Museum Group are available to hire and display at venues around the world. For further information visit:

About the National Council of Science Museums

National Council of Science Museums (NCSM), a premiere institution in the field of science communication, is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.  Primarily engaged in popularizing Science and Technology through a network of science centres, Mobile Science Exhibitions (MSE) units that visit rural schools and plethora of activities for public and students in particular, NCSM has now become a trend setter in the field of science communication both at national and international level. Presently NCSM, with its Headquarters in Kolkata, administers and manages 25 science museums/centres spread across the country and is the world's largest network of science centres and museums that functions under a single administrative umbrella with an annual reach to about 15 million people. Innovation Hubs set up by NCSM, provide expert guidance and professional lab equipment facilities to young students to nurture creativity, innovation and engagement in science. 30 hubs are functional in science centres across the country reaching about 10,000 students annually through each hubs and 21 more are in making.

About Wellcome

Wellcome exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive.  We're a global charitable foundation, both politically and financially independent. We support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

About the British Council in India

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with - changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government. The British Council has been working with India since 1948.In 2018 we are marking the 70th anniversary with a series of events celebrating cultural relations and exchange between the UK and India.

About the BEIS Rutherford Fund

Administered by UK Research and Investment (UKRI), the Rutherford Fund supports skills exchanges that contribute towards supporting emerging international research in India, China, Brazil and Mexico to deepen international engagement and attract highly skilled researchers to the UK.