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Science History Institute

Exploring the impact of science and technology...

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

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Science is all around us.

It’s not just found in the laboratory. It’s in the water we drink, the air we breathe, the clothes we wear, the blood in our veins and the earth beneath our feet. At the Science History Institute , you can explore the amazing successes, astonishing failures and strange surprises behind the science that shapes our world.

The Institute’s permanent exhibition takes you on a journey through more than 500 years of scientific inquiry into the material world, exploring the knowledge and technological changes that have given us cleaner air, safer foods and effective vaccines.

Also on view is Downstream , an exhibition that explores the history and science behind more than two centuries of water analysis and protection in and around Philadelphia.

The museum is free and open to the public. You can also immerse yourself in stories of discovery, challenge and change by checking out several digital exhibitions online or by visiting the latest outdoor exhibition installed on the façade of the Institute’s building.

The Experience

A visit to the Science History Institute is a journey through the weird and wonderful world of matter and materials where you’ll discover the stories behind the science.

Don’t Miss

The centerpiece of the museum is a multimedia experience that includes a two-story-high video column and the Object Explorer, which features a pair of interactive tables that offer visitors an in-depth look into the history and science of various everyday objects, including LED bulbs, plastic soda bottles, oven mitts, ice-cube trays and flip-flops.

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