Raising a glass to knowledge
Auckland academics are ditching the lecture theatre for the city’s bars.
The University of Auckland will send 20 academics to lecture at 10 Auckland bars as a part of a worldwide initiative next month.
The event, called ‘‘Raising the Bar’’, aims to make education a greater part of the city’s culture by giving the community the chance to engage with leading academics in a friendly, accessible and laid back atmosphere.
The initiative originated in New York in 2015 and is designed to break down the perception that higher education deepens socioeconomic inequality by pushing away prospective students.
Raising the Bar quickly spread to Melbourne, Sydney, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong and now Auckland.
University of Auckland director of alumni relations and development Mark Bentley said the lecture topics would reflect the younger ‘‘Ted Talk generation’’.
The sessions, being held on August 29, would be fascinating, quick and informative, he said.
Topics will range from life among robots, why terrorists want to kill us, imagining a world without prisons, how to build pop songs and the brain of sharks.
Bentley said pubs had been host to great conversations for as long as they had existed.
It is expected more than 1500 Aucklanders will attend the event, with a few locations selling out 24 hours after tickets were released on Friday.
Thomas Gregory, who will talk about the human cost of drone strikes at Tom Tom Bar and Eatery, said lecturing in a pub was a dream gig but a little nerveracking too.
‘‘If students get bored of my lectures they usually just sneak out early or twiddle with their phones - but a room full of rowdy punters could be interesting,’’ he said.
Golden Dawn manager Nicolas Harrison said events like Raising the Bar were a perfect way for bars to contribute more to the community than just supplying alcohol.
Other locations include Sweat Shop, Birdcage Bar, Vodka Room, Gin Room, The Oakroom and Fort Street Union.
Registrations opened on July 20 and the public are urged to get in early to secure a bar stool.
For a full list of speakers, topics and venues or to register visit rtbevent.com/auckland
Golden Dawn manager Nick Harrison will be raising his glass to knowledge on August 29.