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Raising the Bar: Behind-the-scenes with our speakers

6 October 2016
Behind-the-scenes with our Raising the Bar speakers

On 18 October, twenty of our leading researchers will take over twenty of Sydney's best bars. We asked a few of our Raising the Bar presenters what to expect from their talks.

'Sexting: risky or risque?' with Murray Lee

Murray Lee

What’s your talk about?

My talk is about what motivates people to send sexts (or sexy texts) – and what are the pros and cons of them doing so. I’ll be discussing the risks and excitements of sexting, a range of different motivations, and also how generational change has meant that many older people often don’t understand the seductions of sexting for young people whose worlds are lived as much virtually as terrestrially.

How did you conduct your research?

In our research we surveyed or spoke to over 1300 young people from the ages of 13 to 20. I talk to my students a lot about sexting in classes – most are too smart to share their intimate stories with a class full of peers, but I see the knowing nods and looks.

How is your talk influenced by your criminology background?

We began the project on sexting from a criminological perspective; that was, we were concerned that young people were being criminalised for largely consensual sexting under overtly harsh child pornography and child abuse laws. We wanted to understand whether child pornography was actually a motivation of sexting, and if not, what were the motivations? Basically, we wanted to show that the criminal law was not a particularly effective way of dealing with sexting. 

What will you order at the bar on the night?

Well if it's alcoholic, Sex(t) on the Beach?  If not, a ‘nudie’ juice obviously.

'Is insider trading beneficial, bad or benign?' with Juliette Overland

Juliette Overland

What’s your talk about?

My talk will be addressing common myths and misconceptions about insider trading and explaining why it isn't a victimless crime. All Australians can potentially be the victims of insider trading, and so it is important to have effective insider trading laws. 

Why should we all care about insider trading?

Almost all employed Australians having compulsory deductions taken from their salary or wages and paid into superannuation, and a significant amount of those funds are invested into publicly traded shares by the superannuation funds.  So if insiders are able to unfairly trade and make secret profits at the expense of other investors on the stock exchange, we are all potential victims of insider trading.

Do you need to be a business or law student to understand your talk?

No prior knowledge of the law or business is needed to understand the talk, and hopefully it will be interesting and appealing to everyone.  As part of the talk, I will be explaining the nature of insider trading, so that those who are unfamiliar with the topic will come away well informed.

What will you order at the bar on the night?

I'll probably have just one glass of champagne before the talk (as I'll need to keep my wits about me!) but afterwards I'll be ready to down a couple more...

'Celebrating the top 10 LGBTQI wins' with Chris Neff

Chris Neff

What’s your talk about?

My talk is about 10 queer victories that have been historic for the LGBTQI movement. There are some little things that have had a big impact on queer lives. We don’t talk about the little things and celebrate our victories enough in my opinion.

Why is your talk timely?

My talk is timely because the queer community in Australia is under attack from political leaders and a status quo that pays little attention to LGBTQI youth suicide, to rural indigenous queer issues, who defund programs to stop LGBTQI bullying in schools and which denies all queer Australians full citizenship. So I think first, we need to remind ourselves of how difference is perfect and powerful, and secondly that history is made in lots of ways and we should be proud of ourselves and the lives we lead in the face of difficult times.   

What do you think has been the biggest win?

I think the biggest win of the LGBTQI movement was probably (and subject to change before the talk – because I don’t want to give anything away!) the work getting the global psychiatric community to de-list homosexuality as a mental disorder, starting with the American Psychiatric Association in 1974.   

What will you order at the bar on the night?

Top-shelf vodka cranberry drinks.

'What makes your heart stop?' with Chris Semsarian

Chris Semsarian

What’s your talk about?

Why do young and apparently healthy people, including athletes die suddenly? How do your genes contribute? Can exercise or energy drinks kill you? How can we save young lives?

Why should young people care about sudden cardiac deaths?

50 percent of young people who die suddenly have no warning symptoms! It often occurs in those in teens and twenties, often during sports – so it could happen to anyone.

Do you need to be a health student to understand your talk?

Not at all. It will be easy to follow, and there will be lots of time to ask questions!

What will you order at the bar on the night?

Maybe a glass of red wine – there's evidence that the antioxidants in red wine protect the heart!