SciComm Studio 012: Beneath the Sea & Beyond the Stars

Join us as we explore the science and art of exploration itself — from the deep sea to deep space.

Image courtesy Marie Griesmar

Event Details


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


October 30, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



How can artists, scientists, and designers collaborate to develop new methods of public engagement around unknown worlds — from the issues facing marine life beneath the sea, to questions we face at the peripheries of the galaxy?

swissnex San Francisco bridges these worlds by connecting the dots between astronomy and marine biology.

First, hear from artist, diver, and science communicator Marie Griesmar, currently based in San Francisco as a Pier 17 Science Studio fellow, will present her work, which brings the mysteries of the deep sea to the surface. She will provide insights into her artistic process and her strategies for elevating engagement around coral reefs and global environmental change.

Then, the evening takes an eye to the stars with Bill Diamond, President and CEO of the SETI Institute, which seeks to explore, understand, and explain the origin and nature of life in the universe and the evolution of intelligence. SETI is home to the Carl Sagan Center for Research, which seeks evidence of life beyond Earth, and engages in substantial science communication at the intersections of biology, astronomy, artificial intelligence, and beyond. 


6:30 pm — doors open
7:00 pm — presentation with Marie Griesmar
7:30 pm — presentation with Bill Diamond
8:00 pm — networking
9:00 pm — doors close


Bill Diamond
Bill Diamond

Bill Diamond is President and CEO of the SETI Institute, which he joined in 2015. He has worked predominantly in applied technologies with over 20 years’ experience in photonics and optical communications, and more than a decade in X-ray and semiconductor processing technologies. His corporate background spans the spectrum from venture-backed start-ups to Fortune 100 multinationals, with responsibilities ranging from R&D, engineering and operations, to sales, marketing, product management, and CEO positions.
Marie Griesmar

Marie Griesmar is a Swiss artist based between Lausanne and Zurich. Her practice is at the intersection between utopian aims and reality. Through installations, paintings, but also publications, Griesmar evokes the dialectic between visible and invisible as well as the phenomenology of perception. Her work on generative coral reefs led her to pursue a project with the Swissnex Pier 17 Science Studio in San Francisco, where she’ll be working during summer 2018. Deploying a range of references that combines contemporary philosophy, marine biology, or even some post-structuralist writings, she develops a polysemic work imbued with a formal, ecological and narrative research. Griesmar obtained her MFA at the University of Art of Zurich (ZHdK) in 2016. She did her BFA in 2014 at the University of Art and Design of Geneva (HEAD) and studied for a six-month period at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich (AdbK).

Additional speakers TBA. 

swissnex Salon

The swissnex Salon is a new model for dialogue on how the future of our society is shaped: a platform that includes multiple perspectives and provides a critical lens on possible emergent futures. Taking inspiration from the values articulated within the Preamble of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation, we examine the role of technology in shaping, distorting, and expanding societal foundations.

SciComm Studio

The SciComm Studio is swissnex San Francisco’s 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!