Raising the Bar on challenging conversations

Michael Williams
Michael Williams

The University of Western Australia (UWA) will unleash its best and brightest across Perth’s CBD at tonight’s annual Raising the Bar event.

At five bars, the public will gain access to 10 world-leading researchers and their thoughts on the world’s most challenging topics – from AI’s role in the future of transport to talking about death itself.

Dr Laila Simpson, Director of the Office of Research at UWA, says Raising the Bar helps make higher learning a part of the city’s popular culture.

“By moving beyond traditional lecture settings, we’re engaging the public in meaningful conversations and raising the bar on discussing complex issues in casual, accessible settings,” she says.

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Register for the 24 October event here.

The featured speakers are:

Associate Professor Doina Olaru, Durty Nelly’s, Murray Street, Perth (Shafto Lane)
AI and Us, Building a trustworthy relationship with transport technology. In the landscape of smart cities, where autonomous technologies promise efficiency and convenience, trust is the cornerstone.

Dr Flavia Bellieni Zimmermann, Durty Nelly’s, Murray Street, Perth (Shafto Lane)
Brazil: beyond supermodels and soccer. Can Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s project of “an alternative world order” be successful in the post-Ukraine-Russia geostrategic climate?

Dr Scott Draper, The Globe, Wellington Street
Extreme waves and open water swimming. How WA is leading the world in the development of innovative engineering solutions central to working safely and efficiently in the ocean, even in extremes.

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Professor Michael Rosenberg, The Globe, Wellington Street
Active kids: teaching basic movement skills for bright futures. Instilling fundamental movement skills can guide children towards a lifetime of active living, elevating their health and well-being along the way.

Professor Samar Aoun, Market Grounds, Telethon Ave, Perth
Talking about death will not kill you. Why every person, every family and every community need to know what to do when someone is caring, dying or grieving.

Dr Amy Page, Market Grounds, Telethon Ave, Perth
Pharmacists in aged care: unravelling the medicines tangle. The average person in residential aged care takes an average of 10 medicines per day, leading to concerns of potential harm from managing these.

Professor Alan Jamieson, The Shoe Bar, Yagan Square, Perth
Submersible-diving to the deepest places in the oceans. Some often bizarre insights into the day in the life of deep diving subs, and of course the habitats and life that is discovered 11 kms underwater.

Professor Sergey Shabala, The Shoe Bar, Yagan Square, Perth
Calling for the Green Revolution 2.0. Global food security is jeopardised by the increasing severity and frequency of drought and flooding events and soil salinisation that result in over $180Bn in annual losses to the agricultural sector so what are the answers?

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Dr Paul Harrigan, Varsity, 94 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
Fact-checking the truth. Fake news is a bigger issue than even Donald Trump thinks. What does it look like, why and how does it spread, and how can we stop it?

Dr Clas Weber, Varsity, 94 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
Living in the Cloud: the philosophical prospects of mind-uploading. Mind-uploading is the process of transitioning a person from their biological hardware to an artificial hardware, e.g. by creating a computer simulation of a person’s brain. But could we survive it?

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Michael R Williams has been writing for regional newspapers for the past 3 years, including delivering the Longreach Leader to its 100th year. He is passionate about the opportunity journalism offers him to interview and tell the stories of Australians with a broad and diverse range of backgrounds. He is an obsessive reader and podcast listener.