Science History Institute’s Museum to Reopen July 1

Visitors are invited back to historic Old City Philadelphia to explore the broad history of science.

June 15, 2021

The Science History Institute is pleased to announce the reopening of our museum on July 1, 2021, with limited hours: Thursday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Admission is free and no advance tickets are required.

When you visit the Institute this summer, you’ll find our museum’s permanent galleries have undergone an interpretive “refresh” that features new objects, stories, and discoveries. This gallery refresh began in 2018 as the museum team began discussing ways to provide more inclusive content, highlight hidden or obscured histories, and reimagine the way we connect audiences to the history of science. The result is new research, new interactives, and new ways to understand the collaborative, complex work of science.

Visitors will learn the stories of Marie Meurdrac, author of one of the first chemistry textbooks for women; engineer Ardaseer Cursetjee, the first Indian fellow of the Royal Society; Masamichi Yamashita, the unsung builder of the first electrospray ionization mass spectrometer; and many more inventors, innovators, workers, and community activists. We invite you to imagine yourself as an early scientist working in an alchemical “kitchen,” learn what’s behind a Nobel Prize, and follow the journeys of medical researchers and patient advocates working to combat diabetes, sickle cell anemia, and HIV/AIDS. Try our interactive Object Explorer touch table and explore the curious, fascinating, and quirky histories of common objects; see clips and vintage advertising from our archival collections; and watch breathtaking, larger-than-life videos of elemental chemistry on our two-story-high media column.

And coming this fall, don’t miss Downstream, a new temporary exhibition that will take visitors on a watery journey of history and science, exploring more than 200 years of water analysis and water protection in the United States. Water is constantly flowing around us, through the natural world of streams, rivers, bays, and oceans, and in the scientific spaces of laboratories, water treatment plants, agricultural irrigation systems, and municipal pipes. As water moves from place to place and use to use, our demands on it change, too. Visitors will learn about the process of water filtration, historical fights against waterborne illness, new innovations in ocean-cleaning technology, and more.

The Institute’s museum explores the broad history of science, with special focus on chemistry, chemical engineering, the material sciences, and the life sciences. Named one of Philadelphia’s best museums by Condé Nast Traveler and featured on CBSPhilly, a visit to the Science History Institute is a journey through the weird and wonderful world of matter and materials. Discover the science in your life!

Photo: J.Fusco for Visit Philadelphia.

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