The exhibition aims to present scientific and medical topics in an accessible way, sparking curiosity and encouraging discussion. It offers an interactive learning experience. Visitors can explore the wonder and fragility of the human body, as well as the challenges researchers face in their quest to create innovative new medicines.

The content is designed for a general audience starting at about age 12, including students and others interested in medical science.

The exhibition’s interactive multimedia content was conceived and created in close collaboration with scientists. Visitors are accompanied by a smart audio guide specially developed for the exhibition.

All exhibition content is available in German, English and French. 



Floor plan and contents

The exhibition is located on the upper floor of the Novartis Pavilion and follows the circular shape of the building. Visitors start by watching a short introductory film, Making Medicine.

Floor plan of the Novartis Pavillon exhibition


The exhibition has four thematic sections:

Fragility of Life starts at a human level that everyone can relate to. It’s all about people. Visitors can hear patients talk about what it’s like to live with diseases such as heart failure, breast cancer and malaria. They can also explore the workings of the human body’s vital organs and systems, as well as how illness can sometimes disrupt their smooth functioning.  

Future of Healthcare invites visitors to join virtual discussions with experts about the social and ethical implications of trends shaping the future of healthcare. There are three topics: access to medicine, genetic engineering and the digital revolution in healthcare. You can participate in the discussion and learn more about the perspectives of others. Visitors can also learn more about the three topics at interactive information stations.

From lab to patients follows the journey of a new drug from the earliest laboratory experiments all the way through research and development to reach patients. The journey is broken down into eight steps. Visitors can choose to follow the eight steps in three different manners. For instance, in a row of video windows along one wall, visitors can meet researchers, production technicians and other people involved in the creation of new innovative drugs. These people explain their day-to-day work and introduce visitors to some of the high-tech equipment they use. 

Steps through Time explores the history of medicine and the emergence of the pharmaceutical industry in Basel. Visitors can discover objects related to the history of Basel and Novartis. They can dive into the history of medicine, browsing a series of short films. Using an interactive city map, they can travel through time, tracing changes in the city of Basel from 1880 to the present day.