SciComm Studio 002: Podcasts, Sounds, and Crowds

A creative collision between people who communicate and collect scientific information.

Event Details


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


May 19, 2017 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



Smartphones are changing the way we communicate science information – and the way we collect it. This month’s SciComm Studio is all about the new relationships smartphones are building between the public and scientists; specifically, through podcasting and crowdsensing.

First, two award-winning radio producers will share tips on crafting science podcasts for scientists and media professionals. Jake Warga from Stanford’s Storytelling Program will share ideas for building vivid, compelling stories from research, personal experiences, imagination, and insights. Swiss journalist This Wachter will share his own insights drawn from 20 years as a journalist in newspapers and radio.

More than sharing information, smartphones can help scientists collect it. We’ll hear from Julia Buwaya, a scientist from the University of Geneva, about her research into “crowdsensing” – using a phone’s sensors to collect ambient data from the public. You can participate ahead of this event by downloading our NoiseBay app to help create a map of San Francisco’s sound levels: a lucky participant at the evening event will receive a $200 prize.


6:30pm: doors open
7:00pm: talks and q&a
8:00pm: demo & networking
9:00pm: doors close


Jake Warga
Radio producer

Jake Warga has been an independent radio producer for over a decade, and taught humanities and social sciences in Morocco for years before joining Stanford in the fall of 2015 as a Lecturer in the Stanford Storytelling Program. With a masters in visual anthropology from the University of London, he has reported from far-flung places, producing award-winning radio documentaries for such shows as: NPR’s All Things Considered, PRI’s The World, Studio360, This American Life and many more. Jake also uses photography to tell stories, his images have been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum and featured on among many others. His interests have always been in telling good stories and teaching how good stories are told.


This Wachter
Science Journalist

This WachterCurrently spending six months of science podcasting and audio experimentation in the Bay Area, This Wachter has worked for 20 years in journalism in Switzerland. Until June 2016, he was a managing editor and senior producer at Swiss Public Radio, where he was the lead producer of the national 24-hour talk radio station Radio SRF 4 News, covering politics, business, science, and sports. In 2012, he received the “Prix Média” award by the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences for his radio feature about the late Swiss-American bridge-builder Othmar Ammann—and his influence on the design of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. This arrived at Swiss Public Radio after 12 years in science journalism at the daily newspaper “Der Bund,” where he covered science, politics, and medicine.


Julia Buwaya
Crowdsensing Researcher

julia buwayaJulia Buwaya is a research associate and PhD student at the Theoretical Computer Science and Sensor Lab at the University of Geneva, and part of the University of Geneva Digital Fellows Program at swissnex San Francisco. She has a degree in mathematics from the Technical University of Berlin, and is a former scholar of the program course on modeling and simulation of transportation networks at MIT. Her current project, Competing Crowds, explores mobile crowdsensing and the distribution and balancing of tasks and loads. It’s one part of the Swiss National Science Foundation’s “SwissSenseSynergy” project between the University of Geneva, The University of Bern, SUPSI Lugano, and Chalmers Institute of Technology in Sweden.


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: Myleen Hollero