PHILADELPHIA – On December 1, the merger between the Philadelphia-based Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Life Sciences Foundation (LSF), based in San Francisco, was finalized, making CHF and LSF one organization. While the headquarters is in Philadelphia, Life Sciences at CHF will stay in California.

In October of this year, the boards of directors of the two organizations approved the merger. The combined organization will cover the history of the life sciences and biotechnology together with the history of the chemical sciences and engineering — two of the largest and most significant branches of modern science and technology.

Speaking of the merger, Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, said, “These two outstanding organizations both deal with the wonderful history of their complementary fields. As a member of the CHF board and as a longstanding member of the biotechnology community, I couldn't be more pleased to see these two terrific organizations come together.”

The two institutions share a founder, Arnold Thackray, as well as missions to collect and share the history of science and technology. CHF traditionally focused on the whole of the chemical sciences and technologies, while LSF has been more targeted in its studies, concentrating on the history of the last 40 years of work in biotechnology. Approximately two years ago, leadership in both organizations expressed an interest in working together more closely and talks between the two began. By spring 2015 it was clear that plans and ambitions on both sides were remarkably similar. Rather than build capacity in two separate institutions, leadership on both sides decided to bring the two organizations together.

The combined organization will maintain many of the programs now undertaken independently by each institution and continue to explore science and its interaction with engineering, technology and industry.