Raising the Bar

Things to do, Talks and discussions Free
Lecture in pub
Photograph: Ingo Krehl

Expand your mind with a series of free academic talks in bars across Melbourne

For one night only, the average IQ of the city will rise slightly when Raising the Bar comes to town on November 29. The global education event will see top academics descend from their respective universities and takeover bars across Melbourne for a night of free talks.

But these aren’t the dusty lectures you remember from uni: Raising the Bar aims to, well, raise the bar in terms of the content we consume in society. With 20 talks to choose from across the one-night-only event, you’ll want to select wisely. Choose from topics like post-truth, cyber security, the private lives of insects, the search for extraterrestrial life, cryptocurrency, the narrative aspect of court cases, how literature can build empathy towards asylum seekers, the effect technology has had on juries, gender in public spaces, DIY science, sci-fi and female tattooing (bound to be a Melbourne favourite).

Speakers at the event have been cherry picked from across Victoria’s academic centres. Highlights of the event include:

Emily Poelina-Hunter – ‘The Girl With the Blue Tattoo’

Poelina-Hunter wants to break down the idea that tattooing is inherently a male practice. A final year research student at the University of Melbourne, Poelina-Hunter looks at the socio-political links between ancient and present-day tattooing of women.

Damien Manual and Professor Matthew Warren Think Like a Hacker’

Hear two cybersecurity experts unpack the shadowy modern day miscreant that is the hacker. Manual is the chair of the Australian Information Security Association and Warren is a professor of cybersecurity at Deakin University.

Matthew Agnew and Dr Elodie Thilliez – ‘Interstellar Friend Request’

If the truth is out there then Matthew Agnew and Dr Elodie Thilliez will find it. Agnew is a PhD student at Swinburne University of Technology and will talk about where in the universe we might find alien life, and how likely it is. He’s joined by Thilliez who has a PhD in astronomy and is a data scientist at Swinburne.

Dr Michelle Hervey – ‘Sects in the City: How Do Bugs Hook Up?’

Check your giggles at the door because according to Dr Michelle Hervey from Deakin University, insect sex is actually important to our urban environments. Hervey will talk you through insect mating rituals that would make even a sailor blush and give you a new appreciation for the most abundant organisms on earth.

The talks are taking place in ten bars across the Melbourne CBD including Loop Project Space & Bar, the Church of Bang Bang Boogaloo and Neapoli. Play your cards right and you can easily fit a few in during the night – Raising the Bar even has suggested itineraries.

Tickets are available now through the Raising the Bar website.  

By: Nicola Dowse

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