In the spirit of International Museum Day this week, the Wits Adler Museum of Medicine celebrated with a lunchtime talk.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Wits Adler Museum of Medicine, is showing a temporary exhibition titled Asbestos: Wonder Fibre - Serial Killer by photographer David Goldblatt.

THE GOOD AND THE BAD: Wits Adler Museum of Medicine, is showing a temporary exhibition titled Asbestos: Wonder Fibre – Serial Killer by photographer David Goldblatt.                                                                                      Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Community development is a complicated issue and should be examined to ensure it is sustainable, the curator of the Wits Adler Museum of Medicine said.

“Asbestos, even though it’s good for community development, but it does have an unintended negative impact on people’s health and the environment. So that is not sustainable,” said Luvuyo Dondolo, curator of the Wits Adler Museum of Medicine.

Dondolo was speaking at a lunchtime talk themed “Museums for a sustainable society” to mark International Museum Day on Monday.

“Museums are systems of knowledge, they inform and educate so days like [International Museum Day] are important”

Tony Cantrell, visiting professor in the School of Public Health, delivered a talk about the role of asbestos–as a versatile mineral— but also as a potential killer.

Dondolo said that museums performed a valuable function in society.

“Museums are systems of knowledge, they inform and educate so days like [International Museum Day] are important. If you educate people they can be independent and that allows them to be active citizens and play a major role in democracy,” Dondolo said.

The museum is currently showing a temporary exhibition titled Asbestos: Wonder Fibre – Serial Killer by photographer David Goldblatt taken in Australia and South Africa. The exhibition showcases the effect asbestos mining has on people involved in mining operations, their families, and the environment and is designed to coincide with the faculty’s teaching programme.

Many of us may feel that visiting museums isn’t the most thrilling experience, but once one takes the time to see what they have to offer, we may be surprised by what they have to offer.

Asbestos: Wonder Fibre – Serial Killer is available for viewing until 17 July 2015.