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Complexity, Order, and Randomness

Welcome to Metanexus’ 8th Annual conference at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia!
We are pleased that you are joining us!

Below are travel, registration, housing, and other relevant logistical information to help you plan your attendance.

This is the sixth annual gathering of the Metanexus Local Societies Initiative, now boasting 240 groups in 42 countries across the globe. Over 150 participants in this conference will represent granted groups of the Local Societies Initiative.

Air Travel

If you are traveling to the Philadelphia area by air, the most convenient place to arrive is the Philadelphia International Airport (airport code PHL). Flights to New York and Newark airports are also convenient to Amtrak transportation into Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.


Shuttle Transportation

Shuttle service we recommend from Philadelphia International Airport is the Lady Liberty Airport Shuttle. Reservations are not necessary. Shuttle service cost is $ 10 each way. Travel time from Philadelphia International Airport to Center City and/or Penn's Campus is approximately 20 minutes. NO RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR TRIPS TO PHILADELPHIA FROM THE PHILADELPHIA AIRPORT. Please note: Lady Liberty’s last shuttle is at 12:00 midnight, taxi or train are the only options after that time.


The following is the procedure at the airport:

Upon arrival at Philadelphia International Airport, proceed to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage.

  • Proceed to the Ground Transportation Counter courtesy phones near the luggage carousels.
  • Dial 27 from courtesy phones at counter and inform dispatcher of destination and number in party (please call after luggage is claimed)
  • Take ticket from dispenser on counter and remain inside terminal (ticket number will be called when van arrives)

Ask Lady Liberty Shuttle Service to take you to the College House area on Locust Walk between Walnut and Locust Streets and 39th & 40th Streets (view map).

You will then register for your accommodations, and drop off your bags. Then, proceed on foot to Houston Hall (view map) at the end of Locust Walk between Walnut and Spruce Streets and 36th & 34th Streets, for registration to the conference.


If you are arriving before or after the scheduled registration times on Saturday, June 2, 2006

Ask Lady Liberty Shuttle Service to take you to the College House area on Locust Walk between Walnut and Locust Streets and 39th & 40th Streets (view map) to register for your accommodations. If you arrive during conference hours, proceed to Houston Hall at the end of Locust Walk between Walnut and Spruce Streets and 36th & 34th Streets (view map) for registration to the conference.


To arrange return to the airport

  • Call 215-724-8888 to make a reservation in advance
    • Recommended pick-up time is at least 2 to 2.5 hours before departure time for domestic flights
    • Recommended pick-up time is at least 3 to 3.5 hours before departure time for international flight
  • Alternatively, the Penn Tower Hotel, located adjacent to the Penn Campus on 34th Street at Civic Center Boulevard, runs an airport shuttle that leaves from the baggage claim area every half hour. The ride is $8 (subject to change) and takes approximately twenty minutes.


Train Transportation from Airport

You can also take the R-1 train from the airport to 30th Street Station for $5.50, and follow the directions below. The Airport Express Train leaves 9 minutes after every half hour, and can take you to either the University City Station on Convention Ave or to 30th Street Station. The ride takes 18 minutes to the University City Station.


Taxi Transportation from Airport

A metered taxicab costs about $20.00 and the ride takes approximately 20 minutes.


Train to Philadelphia

If you plan to travel by Amtrak train, the closest destination is to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. The campus is about 15 minutes walk from 30th Street. A metered cab from the station costs approximately $4.00 and the ride takes about 5 minutes. The SEPTA No. 30 bus also runs from 30th Street Station to campus. The fare is $2.00 (exact change is required). The ride takes 8 minutes and stops at Civic Center Boulevard & University Avenue. From 30th Street Station, you may also take the R1, R2 or R3 railroad lines, the distance of one stop, to the University City Station (behind the Penn Tower Hotel). The campus can also be reached from 30th Street Station via SEPTA's Green Line (to either 36th and Sansom Streets or 37th and Spruce Streets) or the Market-Frankford Line (to 34th and Market Streets). On foot, U Penn Campus is a fifteen-minute walk from 30th Street Station.

For more information using the R1, R2, R3 Rail Lines, the Subway/Surface Rail Lines, the Market/Frankford Rail Line or the LUCY Loop to get to the campus visit the University of Pennsylvania "Visit Us" page.


Greyhound Trailways Bus Terminal

The Bus Terminal is located at 11th & Filbert Streets (1001 Filbert Street behind The Gallery shopping center) in Center City, Philadelphia. Inner city bus service is provided by Greyhound/Trailways bus lines from the terminal. The Penn campus can be reached from the bus station on SEPTA's Green Line (to either 36th and Sansom Streets or 37th and Spruce Streets) or Market-Frankford Line (to 34th and Market Streets).


Exit the terminal and walk 1 block south, to Market Street to board the Market/Frankford Rail Line, to 34th & Market Streets. The fare is $2.00 (exact change is required). Or... transfer from the Market/Frankford Line at 30th Street Station, to the Subway/Surface trolley (routes #11, #13, #34 or #36) and stop at 36th & Sansom Streets, or 37th & Spruce Streets. The fare is $2.00 (exact change is required) and the transfer is free. A metered cab costs about $12.00.


Directions by Car

The University of Pennsylvania campus is located in a region of West Philadelphia known as University City.

General Directions

  • Map of Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Map of Philadelphia Region
  • Schuylkill Expressway (I-76)
    • Exit at 30th Street Station
    • Exit 345 (formerly exit 39)
  • Schuylkill Expressway (I-76)
    • Exit on South Street
    • Exit 346A (formerly exit 40)
  • Schuylkill Expressway (I-76)
    • Exit on University Avenue
    • Exit 346B (formerly exit 41)

From the Northeast

Take the New Jersey Turnpike to exit 4 for Route 73 North. Proceed on Route 73 North to I-295 South. From I-295 South, take exit 26 of I-76 West. Cross over to Philadelphia via the Walt Whitman Bridge. This section of I-76 is also called the Schuylkill Expressway. Take Exit 346A for South Street, and turn right onto South Street to enter campus. Note: Exit 346A is a LEFT LANE EXIT.


From West via the Northeast Extension Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-476)

Take the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension, South to the PA Turnpike, East-West Interchange. Remain on I-476 (The PA TP, northeast extension portion of I-476, terminates at the PA TP east-west interchange). Continue on I-476 South, approximately 3.6 miles to Exit 16A, I-76 East (Schuylkill Expressway). Take I-76 East approximately 12.6 miles to Exit 346A, South Street, which EXITS ON THE LEFT. Turn right onto South Street to enter the campus.


From the Northwest

Take the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Exit 326, Valley Forge Interchange. Take I-76 East (Schuylkill Expressway) approximately 17 miles to Exit 346A, South Street, which EXITS ON THE LEFT. Turn right onto South Street to enter the campus.


From the North

Take I-95 South to I-676 Westbound toward Center City. From I-676 exit in less than two miles taking "exit only" ramp towards the airport marked I-76 East. Proceed less than a mile to Exit 346A, South Street, which EXITS ON THE LEFT. Turn right onto South Street to enter the campus.


From the South

Take I-95 North to Exit 15 signed "291 West to I-76". Follow 291 West across (Platt) Bridge to 26th Street, which leads directly onto I-76 West. Take I-76 West 3 miles to Exit 346A, South Street, which EXITS ON THE LEFT. Turn left onto South Street to enter the campus.



There are ten, public pay parking facilities around the campus (view facilities map).

Metered pay parking is available on many city streets. Additional parking information and policy is available here.

Free on the street parking is available along Spruce Street, 34th Street, and 33rd Street. A parking lot is located on South Street and Convention Avenue Lot #7 (next to the Hotel Penn Tower).



Check-in registration for the conference will take place on Saturday, June 2 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Bistro in Houston Hall in the Perelman Quadrangle, at the end of Locust Walk between Walnut and Spruce Streets and 36th & 34th Streets. Those who are staying overnight on the campus should check-in first at the designated College House on Locust Walk between Walnut and Locust Streets and 39th & 40th Streets (view map). Please try to arrive no later than 4:00 p.m., if possible. If you have any physical limitations requiring particular living arrangements, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know. We will do our best to accommodate all requests.

Checkout time, for those staying on campus, will begin after breakfast on Wednesday, June 6th.

Please note that if you choose to arrive early or stay late, you may need to make your own arrangements for lodging (see alternate accommodations, below).



Attendees who choose the room & board option will stay in a combination of shared and private apartment/suites in one of the College Houses on Locust Walk between Walnut and Locust Streets and 39th & 40th Streets (view map) on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Accommodations are made up of 2-4 single occupancy (private) bedrooms, each room with a separate entrance, shared living room, kitchenette, and shared bath. Each bedroom contains an extra-long (36"x80") twin bed, flat sheet, top sheet, blanket, one pillow with case, towels, desk, dresser, and wall mounted fixtures. You may want to bring hangers, toiletries, and an alarm clock with you as needed. Bathrooms vary - some have showers, others shower/tub combos. Living rooms have seating for 4 to 6 people, table and chairs, wastebaskets, and floor lamps. Public facilities include a first floor lounge, laundries, and an accessible roof top lounge. In all of the College Houses, safety is of the utmost importance. Security staff are stationed at entrances around the clock. House Managers, and a full complement of housekeeping and maintenance staff are available in case of an emergency. Visitors are welcome, but must be signed in by residents. Accommodations are close to Philly's bus, trolley and subway lines, the Fresh Grocer supermarket, and the premiere cinema, The Bridge.

Further information about accommodations can be found by visiting the UPenn Facilities page (view facilites map).


Alternate Accommodations

For those wishing for more privacy (at your own expense), see this map of area accommodations and rates (view map).

The following facilities are within comfortable walking distance of the conference:

Sheraton University City Hotel
36th & Chestnut Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.349.6302 / 215.387.8000

Hilton / Inn at Penn
3600 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
215.222.0200 / 1.800.809.7001

Hotel Penn Tower
Civic Center Boulevard at 34th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4385
215.387.8333 / 215.386.8306 (fax)

Bed & Breakfast Locators


Recreational Amenities

The University of Pennsylvania and the surrounding area offers a wide variety of recreational and entertainment facilities. See a full map of area restaurants and stores (view map).

Also see:

University Square

Campus Art Galleries and Sculptures (view specific galleries and pieces)



All meals, from dinner on Saturday, June 2nd through breakfast on Wednesday, June 6th will be on the campus of U Penn. on the campus of U Penn. Breakfast will be available at the Class of 1920 Commons (known simply as “1920 Commons”) on the Street Level of 3800 Locust Walk, near conference accommodations. All lunches will be available in Houston Hall. Dinner, on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday will be served in 1920 Commons. On Tuesday June 5th the closing banquet will be held at the conference site in Houston Hall. The cafeteria and catering services at the University provide a diverse selection of cafeteria and buffet style meals with selections including fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetarian, vegan, or special diets. We make every effort to accommodate the needs of our conference guests. If you have particular needs please let us know!


Phone and E-mail:

There are NO direct telephone lines into or from apartments; however, calls can be made from payphones throughout the campus. We recommend bringing a mobile phone, telephone calling card, or credit card for outgoing long distance calls. Internet connections are provided at the conference site.


What to Bring:

Casual business to everyday casual clothing and good walking shoes. The weather in the Philadelphia area in early-June can vary, from comfortable and pleasantly warm to quite cool. Daytime temperatures range broadly; from the 50s to mid-70s F (9-23 C) and evenings in the 40-60 F (4-15 C) degree range. Plan on cool-to-mild, or even hot days, with perhaps a light jacket for evenings. Definitely bring a raincoat or umbrella in case of spring rains, which can be frequent. If staying on campus, you may also want to bring hangers, toiletries, and an alarm clock with you.


Book Store

As in the past, books written by conference presenters and other titles of relevance will be available for sale through a bookstore set up specifically for conference participants by Penn Book Center, with a physical location just a short walk for the conference site. In addition, the University of Pennsylvania Bookstore is located in Sansom Common at 3601 Walnut Street, just a short stroll from the conference site. The Templeton Foundation Press will also host a book table to benefit attendees.


Religious Activities and Area Religious Communities

University of Pennsylvania Campus Chaplain

Penn Religious Communities Council


Philadelphia in General

Get to know the City of Brotherly Love!

Official Website of Philadelphia City Government

City of Philadelphia Visitor’s Guide

Philadelphia and surrounding countryside

Philadelphia City Search


From all of us at the Metanexus Institute, we warmly welcome you and thank you for participating in Transdisciplinarity and the Unity of Knowledge: Beyond the Science and Religion Dialogue. Please contact us with any questions or specific needs that you may have. We look forward to sharing the conference with you!

2007 Conference Staff
Metanexus Institute