ACS Philadelphia 2008: Escaping the conference

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I haven’t spent much time outside the confines of the conference – apart from the sun-drenched stroll between the convention centre and another venue, the Sheraton, about a mile away. So yesterday I thought, enough is enough. I went for a run over the Benjamin Franklin bridge with Neil Gussman, PR guy for the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and US army sergeant.

The run was amazing, the pedestrian bridge is much higher than the cars and the cars are much, much, much higher than the Delaware river. If you need to escape the city, you could do a lot worse than this towering piece of metal engineering.

Today I took another trip to CHF, to check out their new, and very impressive, gallery. It’s still under construction, but the floor-to-ceiling interactive periodic table installment (made in part by he of the Periodic Table Table fame, Theo Gray) is already in place. It is awesome. Videos run for each element, and the whole thing cascades from the huge 2-storey ceiling to the floor on a massive array of TV screens.

The new galleries are also hosting a travelling art exhibit, molecules that matter. This is a collection of artists’ representations of 10 selected molecules that have influenced society in the past 100 years. Apparently the choice of molecules upset some staunch organic chemists. I can’t see why. You should pop over and see if you’re getting cabin fever in the conference.