Project presentations on the website

Every project supported by Gebert Rüf Stiftung is made accessible with a web presentation that informs about the core data of the project. With this public presentation, the foundation publishes the funding results achieved and contributes to the communication of science to society.


Pier 17 Science Studio


Für den Inhalt der Angaben zeichnet die Projektleitung verantwortlich.


This project is funded by Gebert Rüf Stiftung with additional support from the Swiss National Science Foundation

Project data

  • Project no: GRS-007/16 
  • Amount of funding: CHF 200'000 
  • Approved: 06.07.2016 
  • Duration: 10.2016 - 10.2019 
  • Area of activity:  Scientainment, seit 2013

Project management

Project description

The way we do, share, and communicate science is changing. Science has never been more relevant to daily life, yet so often misunderstood, distrusted, or even ignored. Meanwhile, swissnex San Francisco has identified a number of critical new trends in science communication and public engagement: immersive, two way, visual, data-driven, decentralized, actionable, interdisciplinary, story-rich, fun, and live. It’s our task at swissnex to ensure that Switzerland benefits and makes use of these trends in pursuit of the public understanding of science. This is particularly important in a country where people have to vote on highly complex scientific issues in a direct democracy.
The Pier 17 Science Studio was a fellowship supporting emerging talents in science communication and public engagement to develop new ideas, practices, and models aimed at building open dialogues around science, society, and the global challenges facing us today. Fellows traveling from Switzerland spent up to three months working within swissnex San Francisco’s creative hub at Pier 17. They p roduced projects that are novel and interdisciplinary in nature, which both challenge and inform audiences. The program o ffered them access to financial aid, visibility, and an extensive network of mentors and partners from the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. We contributed to sparking a new generation of science advocates working to drive public dialogue and promote new ways of thinking about science.

What is special about the project?

Dedicated to Swiss-based participants, the Pier 17 Science Studio focused on cross-disciplinary, collaborative approaches that took advantage of the Bay Area’s ecosystem of science organizations, but also its technology, creative, artistic industries. Fellows had access to technical expertise to build a wireframe, or a tinkering studio to build a robot. They could meet with artists-in-residence at Autodesk’s Pier 9 to discuss how design and art connect with technology and science. Scientists at UC Berkeley, journalists at Wired, designers at IDEO, developers at Google, and exhibit builders at the Exploratorium c ould help them develop their ideas. And at Pier 17, fellows could test their project with live audiences in our exhibition and event spaces, as well as discuss it with the various technologists, academics, entrepreneurs, and creatives sharing our offices. The focus of the program was to foster exchange and innovation for the next step in science communication.


September 2016: Project announcement at the Grand Opening of Switzerland at Pier 17.
February 2017 – February 2018: First part of the fellowship program (Tanja Coray, Rahel Meier, Nadya Suvorova) and related science communication activities.
February 2018 – October 2019: Second part of the fellowship program (second visit of Nadya Suvorova, Marie Griesmar, Urs Hafner, Serafina Calarco, Johann Roduit, Chloé Carrière) and related science communication activities.
November 2019 and beyond: project closing and spin-off activities of Pier 17 Science Studio, including the continuation of the swissnex San Francisco’s SciComm Studio event series, science communication activities of its Digital Campus program, the Optimus Agora Prize of the Swiss National Science Foundation, and more.
More information



Persons involved in the project

Benjamin Bollmann, Debuty CEO, swissnex San Francisco
Eryk Salvaggio, Research and Content Strategist, swissnex San Francisco
Sheila Fakurnejad, Interdisciplinary Programs Manager, swissnex San Francisco (left swissnex in 2019)

Last update to this project presentation  02.03.2022