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biomedical research charity based in London, United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Sir Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health. The aim of the Trust is to "achieve extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds", and in addition to funding biomedical research it supports the public understanding of science. AM: Please tell us about Wellcome and the Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis exhibition. KEN ARNOLD: Wellcome has been delighted to collaborate with colleagues at MCNY to co-produce the exhibition Germ City, and further to work in close collaboration with their next-door-neighbours the New York Academy of Medicine. The show explores how New York has shaped – and been shaped by – the fight against contagious diseases such as cholera, and TB. Through a range of intriguing historical objects, powerful contemporary art commissions and interactive features, the exhibition teases out the personal, cultural, political and medical dimensions of contagion in this truly global city. SIMON CHAPLIN: The show tells stories about health and illness, immune systems and antibiotics, breakthroughs in treatments and vaccinations; and on a more granular individual scale, stories of the lives and struggles of ordinary New Yorkers. But it’s just as much about the structure of urban life: housing, water systems, sanitation, and individual and collective rights. Inevitably, it also touches on issues of social injustice and conflict. AM: What other exhibitions and projects are part of Wellcome's Contagious Cities international project? KA: Germ City is the first exhibition in Wellcome’s ambitiously broad international Contagious Cities initiative. Timed to coincide with the centenary of the 1918/19 influenza pandemic, Contagious Cities is a cultural project that spans Geneva, Hong

Kong and New York. Each has its own fascinating, often tragic, but also sometimes hopeful set of disease stories to share. With the World Health Organisation headquartered there, Geneva is arguably the city in the world where most thought is given to contagion and epidemics. Contagious cities commissioned WHO’s first artists in residence. While Hong Kong is perhaps the world’s most connected city, with a vibrant history as a hub of international travel, but also of contagious diseases. A major part of the project there will be an art-led exhibition at Tai Kwun, Hong Kong’s brand-new centre for heritage and arts. AM: What are some of the upcoming featured artist residencies, broadcasts, events and interactive storytelling experiences? KA: Across New York ‘Contagious Cities’ features exhibitions, artist residencies, broadcasts, events and interactive storytelling experiences. The Tenement Museum will host a series of special tours of its historic Lower East Side buildings focused on former residents’ tales of disease, medicine, immigration and reform; while WNYC have drawn on their archives and newsroom to offer a series of narratives chronicling the relationship between cities and contagious disease. Other activities are based at the New York Public Library, CUNY’s Graduate School and the Brooklyn Historical Society. AM: What some key takeaways you hope attendees have when exploring Germ City: Microbes and Metropolis and the Contagious Cities series? SC: We want to raise awareness of how much germs are a part of all our lives: the reason we wash our hands and cover our mouths when we sneeze. They are a major, if microscopic, feature of our urban environment; and in causing diseases they have brought tragedy, fear, suspicion and destruction to urban environments. But in dealing with them, cities have also witnessed acts of compassion and imagination and globally significant learned lessons. We want people to find out and

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