Rais­ing a glass to knowl­edge

East and Bays Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - SHANI WIL­LIAMS

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

CHRIS SKELTON/STUFF

Golden Dawn man­ager Nick Har­ri­son will be rais­ing his glass to knowl­edge on Au­gust 29.

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