Philadelphia is a major center of science and has a rich history of scientific innovation and cutting-edge research. It is home to renowned universities and research institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Drexel University, Thomas Jefferson University, Temple University and many others. These institutions are driving cutting-edge research in "frontier science", i.e. the exploration and investigation of scientific areas that lie at the edge of current knowledge and understanding. Nothing proves this more than the fact that two outstanding scientists working and living in Philadelphia, Katalin Kariko and Drew Weismann, have jointly been awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries on nucleoside base modifications that have enabled the development of effective mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccines against COVID-19. Katalin Karikó is affiliated to the Szeged University, Hungary and University of Pennsylvania. Drew Weissman is affiliated to the Penn Institute for RNA Innovations University of Pennsylvania.

The city is well poised to be one of the leading centers for frontier research, testing and fleshing out scientific ideas that are relatively new and not yet supported by years of scientific evidence. Pioneering research takes place at the frontiers of knowledge in a particular field. To name just a few scientific areas where we can expect such breakthroughs, leading to uncharted territories and unimaginable prospects, are the following.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are dynamic frontiers of computer science and engineering. Researchers are exploring algorithms, neural networks and deep learning architectures to develop intelligent systems that process natural language, make decisions autonomously and find creative solutions to problems.

Astrophysics and cosmology explore the vastness of the universe, its origin, evolution and fundamental structure, as well as phenomena such as black holes, dark matter and dark energy, seeking to understand the fundamental forces and dynamics that govern the cosmos.

Biotechnology and genetic engineering explore techniques of gene editing, synthetic biology and genetic modification to develop new treatments for diseases, increase crop yields and solve environmental problems.

Climate science and environmental sustainability focuses on understanding the Earth's complex systems, researching climate feedback mechanisms, predicting extreme weather events and assessing the impact of human activities on ecosystems.

Nanotechnology and materials science researches nanomaterials for applications in electronics, medicine, energy storage and environmental remediation, and drives innovation in areas such as nanoelectronics, nanomedicine and nanocomposites.

Neuroscience and brain mapping use advanced imaging techniques, computer modeling and neuroinformatics to map the structure and function of the brain, decode neural circuits and develop treatments for neurological disorders.

Quantum mechanics and quantum computing explore the world of subatomic particles, quantum entanglement and superposition and seek to harness these phenomena for quantum computing, cryptography and communication.

Philadelphia's great higher education institutions, excellent scientists and outstanding funding make the city one of the centers best prepared to push the boundaries of science in all these areas. Add to this a colorful past of significant contributions to science, such as the work of Benjamin Franklin. The city's museums, libraries and historic sites honor these achievements and inspire future generations of scientists and innovators. That's why we believe there could hardly be a better place than Philadelphia for the second conference in the John von Neumann Series of Pure and Applied Sciences, entitled Exploring the Frontiers of Sciences, Learning from the Past, Sharing for the Future.