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 is 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 vote on highly complex scientific issues in a direct democracy.
The Pier 17 Science Studio is a fellowship that supports 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 wider challenges facing us today. Fellows traveling from Switzerland spend up to three months working within swissnex San Francisco’s new creative hub at Pier 17. They produce projects that are novel and interdisciplinary in nature, which both challenge and inform audiences. The program offers them exposure to the Bay Area’s dynamism and creativity, an extensive network of local mentors and partners, visibility, and financial aid. We aim to spark 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 focuses on cross-disciplinary, collaborative approaches that take advantage of the Bay Area’s ecosystem of science organizations, but also its technology, creative, artistic industries. Fellows have access to technical expertise to build a wireframe, or a tinkering studio to build a robot. They can 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 can help them develop their ideas. And at Pier 17, fellows can 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 is exactly 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-year fellowships (Tanja Coray, Rahel Meier, Nadya Suvorova) and related science communication activities
February 2018 – February 2019: Second-year fellowships and related science communication activitiesMore information
A press release is planned for September 2016 to announce the program. News stories, blog posts, and social media attention will highlight each fellowship outcome and benefit the target communities.
Persons involved in the project
Last update to this project presentation 03.07.2019