Pfizer sponsors Science Museum exhibition "Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives"

Almost 1.5 million visitors explored the growing threat of antibiotic resistance through the free exhibition, from November 2017 to April 2019.


Superbugs exhibition banner


Antibiotics have revolutionised how we treat infectious disease.1 Some of us might require an antibiotic at some point in our lives, and many medical interventions depend on them.2

But some bacteria are now becoming resistant to antibiotics. Some of these resistant bacteria are referred to as ‘Superbugs’.3

Without action, important operations and common illnesses could become life-threatening;4 it is predicted that antimicrobial resistance could potentially impact millions of lives by 2050 without greater intervention.5


"Superbugs: the Fight for our Lives"

In November 2017, we became major sponsors of the Science Museum's "Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives" exhibition to help raise public awareness of this complex issue.

Visitors were able to find out more about the people on the front line in the fight against superbugs, from patients to healthcare professionals and researchers.

The exhibition highlighted the role that we all have to play in this fight – from pharmaceutical companies to governments, healthcare professionals, and the public.

Visitors were able to see real bacteria up close, including nine so called ‘superbugs’ that the World Health Organisation classifies as a significant threat to human health.

They were also invited to find out more about the people on the front line in the fight against superbugs, from a patient who had contracted an infection resistant to antibiotics to healthcare professionals preventing infections, and a designer’s solution to stop bacteria spreading.

Almost 1.5 million people visited the exhibition and its popularity meant it was extended to April 2019. The topic of AMR was also adopted by Science Museum 'Lates', a monthly after-hours event, where Pfizer volunteers brought the topic to life through an exclusive interactive experience and face-to-face discussions with over 2,000 attendees.

We’re proud to have supported the Science Museum’s ‘Superbugs’ exhibition, helping to raise public awareness of the scale of this global health challenge. No one person or organisation has all the answers, nor is there one solution. Industry, governments, and health providers must work together to create the policies, educational programmes and medical interventions needed to win the fight against the superbugs." 

Seema Patel,  Hospital BU Medical Lead, Pfizer UK

'Superbugs' had an incredibly successful reach. Beyond the million visitors that saw it in London, the exhibition has now appeared in seven countries, including at a summit at the United Nations General Assembly.  Thanks to support from organisations like Pfizer, we’ve been able to start a dialogue about AMR with millions of people around the world in areas most affected by AMR, like India and China." 

Sheldon Paquin, 'Superbugs' Exhibition Curator, Science Museum


Pfizer’s work in infectious diseases

Since the 1940’s, when Pfizer successfully mass produced penicillin, we have been actively engaged in the research and development of innovative medicines, and the development of policies and educational programmes to address the ever evolving challenges in infectious diseases.6



  1. Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope. Antibiotic Resistance: why the fuss and what simple actions can everyone take? Jan 2015
  2. Public Health England. Health matters: antimicrobial resistance December 2015. Accessed Nov 2021
  3. World Health Organisation. Health Topics – Antimicrobial Resistance Accessed Nov 2021
  4. World Health Organisation. Antimicrobial Resistance Fact sheet October 2017. Accessed Nov 2021
  5. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations May 2016.
  6. Pfizer data on file