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Things to do in Philadelphia During BIO 2019

After the Liberty Bell, visit these seven Philadelphia sights that celebrate science.

Sculpture of Benjamin Franklin at the Franklin Institute Science Museum in Philadelphia, host of BIO2019
Sculpture of Benjamin Franklin at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. One of the founding fathers of the United States, Franklin was also a renowned scientist. His legacy is part of a strong science heritage in the city that can be explored during BIO 2019.

Yo! Welcome to Philly!

We’re happy to welcome BIO 2019 attendees to the cradle of liberty, a city that also deserves to be known as a cradle of scientific endeavor. The first public hospital, the first public library system and the first university all got their starts in Philadelphia.

While you’re hitting the highlights - the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, running like Rocky up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps – consider these additional seven sights that celebrate science. Did you know Benjamin Franklin is believed to have conducted one of the nation’s first scientific experiments in Philadelphia? That’s our tour’s first stop. Grab your lab coat and a cheesesteak and let’s go!

1. Bolt of Lightning…a Memorial to Benjamin Franklin, Monument Plaza, near 6th and Vine Streets

Pay homage to Franklin’s electrifying moment by visiting the commemorative sculpture, located on the Philadelphia side of the Ben Franklin Bridge. You can’t miss Isamu Noguchi’s 100-foot-high sculpture, featuring a 45-foot bolt of lightning atop the famous key and kite. Legend has it that on a summer day in 1753, Franklin quickly proved his hypothesis about lightning and electricity, possibly inspiring the lightning rod and definitely destroying his key.

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2. The Franklin Institute Science Museum, 222 N. 20th Street

Ben Franklin was such a science enthusiast that Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute was built in his honor. Here you can explore the worlds of electricity, astronomy, aviation and technology - even anatomy by walking through a gigantic model of the human heart - and experience myriad interactive scientific exhibits.

3. The Academy of Natural Sciences, 1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

The Academy of Natural Sciences is a natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. Here, you can experience the enormity of life-sized dinosaurs, interact with live animals and explore a living tropical garden.

4. The Science History Institute, 315 Chestnut Street

Experience stories of innovators and how their discoveries have contributed to the world we know today. You can also learn more about the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, life sciences and much more.  

5. The Mütter Museum, 19 South 22nd Street

Originally founded as a museum for biomedical research, this museum pays tribute to medical sciences history through its fascinating exhibits of human specimens, models and historical medical instruments.

6. Pennsylvania Hospital, 800 Spruce Street

Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, host of BIO2019

Pennsylvania Hospital sits near the Philadelphia Convention Center, where BIO 2019 will be held. 

Explore America’s first public hospital, which was founded in 1751. Meander through the well-preserved Gallery Pavilion and Great Court, and explore the Historic Library that holds centuries-old scientific, medical and natural history volumes. Your visit here won’t be complete without a stop in the Surgical Amphitheatre, which opened in 1804 and is the oldest existing surgical amphitheater in North America. Interested visitors must call 215-829-3370 at least 48 hours in advance to book a guided tour. 

7. The Promise of Biotech Mural, 1108 Sansom Street

Artists looking at unfinished biotechnology mural in Philadelphia, host of BIO2019

Muralist Eric Okdeh (left) and Mural Arts Philadelphia Teaching Artist Briana Dawkins look on during the creation of a biotechnology-themed mural in Center City Philadelphia, site of BIO 2019. 

Check out the latest addition to the catalog of large-scale public murals created by Mural Arts Philadelphia in partnership with the community. Timed to coincide with BIO 2019, CSL Behring sponsored the mural, which explores the promise of life sciences in Philadelphia, especially for those who have rare and serious diseases. We hope it inspires you!