SciComm Studio 001: Mycology Mixer and DIY biology

With mushrooms as a case study, we’ll explore unique approaches to engaging the public’s interest across fields and practices of science.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


April 28, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



The first swissnex SF SciComm Studio meetup uses mushrooms as a starting point for science communication in biology: exploring how scientists can tap into the sensory experience of mycology and do-it-yourself projects to expand the public’s understanding of science.

Science and technology studies experts Gabriela Sanchez and Joanna Steinhardt join artist and researcher Philip Ross to discuss the DIY biology movement,

With so many ways for mushrooms to be transformed, studied, consumed, and exhibited, mycology offers a perfect entry point into the field of science communication and the DIYbiology world.

Join us for discussion, drinks, demos, and an exploration into the ways fungi can be applied throughout society, including a demonstration of a cigarette butt digester and a fungal oil remediation project provided by BAAM (Bay Area Applied Mycology) and mycelium products transformed by MycoWorks.


6:30 pm doors open
7:00 pm talks and q&a
7:45 pm mushroom showcase & networking
9:00 pm doors close


Philip Ross

Phil RossPhilip Ross is an artist, inventor, and scholar whose research is focused on biomaterial design and life support technologies. He is a co-founder and CTO of MycoWorksa San Francisco start-up that turns mycelium (the threadlike, vegetative part of mushrooms) into leather and other materials using carbon-neutral, organic, biodegradable and fully sustainable technology.

Philip also serves as a bioengineering scholar at Stanford University, where he is working to develop an internet of biological things.

Gabriela Sanchez

Gabriella SanchezGabriela A. Sanchez is a PhD candidate  in Science and Technology Studies at the University of Geneva, and part of the University of Geneva Digital Fellow Program at swissnex San Francisco.

She is part of a research team rethinking Science and Public Participation and researching Citizen Sciences. Her research focuses on Do-it-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) and biohacking, particularly on pharmaceutical innovation.

Joanna Steinhardt

Joanna SteinhardtJoanna Steinhardt is a PhD candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is also the recipient of a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

She is writing her dissertation on do-it-yourself (DIY) mycology based on field work in the San Francisco Bay Area and cities in the Pacific Northwest. Her research focuses on secularity, spirituality, science and technology, and multi-species relationships. She works as a communications consultant for MycoWorks, a biofabrication startup in San Francisco that creates new materials out of mycelium.


SciComm Studio

The SciComm Studio is swissnex San Francisco’s monthly meetup for lovers of science seeking a community to experiment, explore, and connect around science communication and public engagement. Hosted at swissnex San Francisco at Pier 17, these meetups create a space for our community to cultivate science communication skills. We inspire and challenge participants excited by science to share their knowledge through storytelling and interactivity. It’s a win-win: exchange knowledge while developing your own toolkit for scientific outreach.

The Pier 17 Science Studio has support from the Exploratorium, Bay Area Science Festival, TED speakers, museum professionals and art-technology curators. The Science Studio “SciComm Studio” events take science communication out of the box and into the streets. If you find yourself involved in any area of scicomm, or if you are interested in being a part of the movement, join us for our next event!

Photo: The “wrinkled peach” fungus, species Rhodotus palmatus, by Dan Molter – Mushroom Observer, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Event Photos