Back Home Again in Indiana – The 2007 SIVB Meeting

As you probably already know, Indianapolis is the site of the 2007 Society for In Vitro Biology’s annual scientific conference. Besides the wonderful scientific program and exciting keynote speaker, Indianapolis native and NASA astronaut Dr. David Wolf, there is a lot to do and see during your stay in Indianapolis. “Back Home Again in Indiana” is a traditional song during the opening ceremony of the Indianapolis 500 auto race. We believe you will feel this comfortable very quickly as you explore the Indianapolis downtown for your dining, shopping, or entertainment experience. Indianapolis’ convenient proximity proved to be a boost to its growth as a transportation hub that has become known as the “Crossroads of America.” Architect Alexander Ralston, who had worked with Pierre L’Enfant in designing Washington, DC, laid out the city on a mile-square grid. At its center, he placed a circle (now Monument Circle), the starting point for four diagonal spokes. There are over 150 restaurants and pubs as well as shopping and entertainment within this 1 mile grid. Indy is a perfect balance of cosmopolitan style (nation’s 12th largest city) and small-town charm, is within a day’s drive for half of the nation’s population and was visited by over 21 million visitors last year. It is so easy to do so much in Indianapolis!

Once you arrive, you’ll find Indy to be a fresh and diverse cultural city with an enriching array of arts, attractions, historical sites and special events. For instance, visit the Indiana Repertory Theatre for the best in professional theatre including comedies, dramas and musicals, both contemporary and classic, on two stages. Listen to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. With a year-round performance schedule of 200 classical, pop and seasonal concerts, you can’t miss it.

Let Indiana history and reverence stir your spirit. Monument Circle is home to the 284-foot Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument. Dedicated in 1902 and made of Indiana limestone, the Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument stands as a tribute to the Indiana servicemen who served in the Civil and Spanish-American Wars. Thirty-two stories up, an observation tower provides a panoramic view of the city skyline. Indianapolis has numerous memorials to commemorate our war veterans and is considered second only to Washington, DC in number of memorials.

The White River State Park, nestled in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, has cultural, educational, and recreational activities to offer something interesting to each visitor. The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is a showplace for the art, culture and history of the American West and its indigenous people. Follow the journey of the student-athlete at the NCAA Hall of Champions. Get back to nature at the Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens, where plants and animals are the main attraction. It is the nation’s only accredited combined zoo, aquarium and botanical garden, it occupies 64 acres and features nearly 4,000 animals and is home to the state’s largest aquarium and the country’s first totally submerged, underwater dolphin viewing dome. White River Gardens features seasonal botanical shows, theme demonstration gardens, and a 5,000 square-foot conservatory. The Indiana State Museum will host the SIVB closing banquet this year and features an IMAX theater.

The recently renovated and expanded Indianapolis Museum of Art one of the largest general art museums in the United States and includes a Puck’s Restaurant. Step back in time at the Connor Prairie living history museum and frontier village where the early 19th century comes to life everyday. The Indianapolis Children’s Museum is a five-story museum which houses 100,000 artifacts in 11 galleries that explore the physical and natural sciences, history, foreign culture and the arts and houses the SpaceQuest Planetarium.

Sports fans can bask in the glory of this year’s Super Bowl champion Colts and pick up a souvenir or two, visit Conceco Field House home of the Pacers, or for you race fans tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Museum (home of the Indy 500, Brickyard 400, and U.S. Grand Prix) or O’Reilly Raceway Park (drag racing).

Did we forget to mention shopping? Explore the Circle Center mall, where you’ll find the state’s only Nordstrom store among 100 other specialty stores. For an upscale shopping experience, visit the Fashion Mall at Keystone Crossing, featuring Saks Fifth Avenue, Crate & Barrel and Tiffany & Co. Check out Indy’s interesting cultural districts, including Massachusetts Avenue with its galleries, shops and one-of-a-kind restaurants. If antiques are what you’re looking for, take a short drive southeast of downtown to Fountain Square, where you’ll find more than 200 antique dealers in specialty stores and art galleries. Or, browse the eclectic boutiques and vintage clothing shops of Broad Ripple Village.

I hope you are planning to attend this year’s exciting SIVB annual meeting and scientific conference. I know Indianapolis is ready to welcome you!

Dennis A Laska, 2007 SIVB Local Organizing Committee
And the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association