January 02, 2018
One of Philadelphia's most renowned scientific organizations will soon undergo a change in identity.
The Old City-based Chemical Heritage Foundation announced Tuesday that it will rebrand as the Science History Institute beginning in February, marking the start of a strategic effort to broaden and future-proof its educational focus.
Established in the late 1980's, the Chemical Heritage Foundation has served as a research center and museum dedicated to the role of technology in the advancement of material sciences. Its collection includes an extensive library and an exhibition of historical artifacts in chemistry.
Near the end of 2015, the non-profit CHF merged with the Life Sciences Foundation, a San Francisco-based educational organization that documents and preserves discoveries in biotechnology.
Both organizations noted the complementary nature of their missions and a desire to share the history of science with the general public and those who work in the field.
"The name 'Chemical Heritage Foundation' didn’t fit our new focus since we now study the history of chemistry, chemical engineering, and the life sciences," the organization said in a statement. "Our new name, Science History Institute, describes what we do today (study the history of the chemical and molecular sciences and accompanying engineering fields) and leaves us room to explore emerging fields as they develop."
Last month, CHF announced it had a received a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund the creation of a video game chronicling the history of alchemy. The grant, part of NEH's Digital Projects for the Public program, will be developed in a collaboration with Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio and Gossamer Games.
The new name for the organization, headquartered at 315 Chestnut St., will take effect at the start of February.