NOTE: All member and nonmember tickets must be reserved in advance, and masks are now optional but recommended. Learn more about how you can join us!

Join Pittsburgh’s new network of creative minds working together to strengthen the bond between people and the natural world.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network. Read on to learn about our next event!

Virtual Biophilia: Don't Touch, Don't Eat, Don't Smell – A Guided Tour around Alnwick Garden's Poison Garden

*Important Note: The live version of this event will be at 11 am EST, to accommodate the time difference in the United Kingdom. However, Drs. Sarah States and Maria Wheeler-Dubas will be hosting a recording of the event at our normal 6 pm EST

Register to Attend

Join us virtually Thurs., July 7, for a “walk and talk” through the Poison Garden of Alnwick Castle — filled exclusively with around 100 toxic, intoxicating and narcotic plants. The boundaries of the Poison Garden are kept behind black iron gates which are only opened on guided tours, and visitors are strictly prohibited from smelling, touching or tasting any plants, although some people still occasionally faint from inhaling toxic fumes while walking in the garden. Join us for the safer, virtual, across-the-pond discussion about this unique display, and learn some of the dangers, stories and effects of the plants you find here — and many you may find in your own garden!

This special virtual tour will hosted by John Knox, the Lead guide at the Alnwick Poison Garden, and Dean Smith, a guide at the Alnwick Poison Garden.

Register in advance for the meeting here. The Zoom meeting will begin promptly at *11 a.m. and 6 p.m. (EST), 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. (PST). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Meetings are free to attend; however, advance registration is required. To R.S.V.P., please use this link.

Designed as a series of posts on the Phipps blog and a hashtag for use on Twitter and Instagram#bioPGH is a new social call-to-action for people throughout the region to more closely examine the beauty and importance of the nature around them.

The Biophilic Mind is a blog focused on presenting primary-source articles at the intersection of human health and the natural world. The Biophilic Mind aims to highlight high quality, recent research about the connections between well-being and nature.

Inspired by the Biophilic Cities initiative, the Biophilia: Pittsburgh Directory seeks to present an overview of the biophilic organizations, events, activities and projects in Pittsburgh, to aid the public in enhancing their connections to nature and discovering collaborative opportunities. 

In this archive, you may access presentation materials and video recordings from previous installments of our monthly Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting series. Additions will be made often, so visit regularly for the latest materials to deepen your Biophilia: Pittsburgh experience.

Biophilia: Pittsburgh meets monthly at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens where, over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, an expert guest speaker discusses ways of connecting people to nature and showing how these connections can improve our lives in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities.


Our Goals

• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia
• To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines
• To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact


What Is Biophilia?

The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.”

The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman, Phipps staff