Upcoming Event- “Manual Science” at Chemical Heritage Foundation

(posted by Jen McCleary)

This looks like it will be an interesting event, particularly for those who crochet. I don’t personally crochet (yet), but I do love intersections of art and science, which appeal to my not-very-well-hidden inner nerd! I used to work in an office building just a few doors down from CHF, and I had no idea they had so many interesting exhibits. If you’re into art and science, definitely check out their website. Here’s the info about the upcoming event:

CHF is a museum and library in Old City dedicated to the history of the chemical and molecular sciences. (You can find out more at our Web site, www.chemheritage.org.) This year our “Manual Science” series features hands-on activities for adults during our extended First Friday hours. In May, we’ll be demonstrating hyperbolic crochet, made famous by the folks at the Institute for Figuring, www.theiff.org. The official announcement follows:

CHF, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, 315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, (215) 925-2222.  Monthly First Friday “Manual Science” event enables attendees to spin a “yarn” or two about science—in crochet form.  (Hooks and yarn provided.) Learn about hyperbolic curves and how scientists use models to visualize the molecular world.  Permanent exhibit Making Modernity and traveling exhibit sLowlife will both be open.  First Friday event May 1, 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.  For more information: www.chemheritage.org.  Museum hours: Monday–Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; First Fridays 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m.  Free admission.

I visited the Institute for Figuring website too and there’s lots of interesting stuff there! Here’s an image of a crochet model of a hyperbolic plane:


Crochet model of hyperbolic plane by Daina Taimina

There’s a great explanation about hyperbolic planes on the IFF website, and an interesting interview with Daina Taimina, who pioneered the use of crochet in modeling hyperbolic planes, which, according to the interview, was “a feat many mathematicians had believed was impossible.”  I just love the idea of a sometimes-denigrated craft coming to the rescue of science!

3 Responses to “Upcoming Event- “Manual Science” at Chemical Heritage Foundation”

  1. flying fox

    this looks *so* interesting! i’ll def try to stop by.

  2. lilithsapothecary

    I really love the chemical heritage foundation. They’ve had some facinating exhibits looking at the intersections of art, alchemy, and the apothecary. Right up my alley! Thanks for posting this.

  3. Sarah Katherine

    This does sound interesting.

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