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50 Bars to Be Transformed Into Classrooms For One Night

By Sybile Penhirin | May 5, 2015 4:58pm | Updated on May 5, 2015 6:02pm
 Participants of Raising the Bar at Sweetwater social in Soho on April 29, 2014
Participants of Raising the Bar at Sweetwater social in Soho on April 29, 2014
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Raising the Bar

MIDTOWN — Abuse your liver and discuss what's good about suffering at an event that aims to take high-minded discussions out of the classroom and into the barroom.

The event, Raising the Bar, will bring renowned lecturers from NYU and Columbia University to  neighborhood pubs on June 2. 

"As NYU students, we have an amazing access to notable professors from different fields," said Inbar Dankner who co-founded the event with two other students.

"We wanted to make these lectures accessible to more people, people who are not necessary students," Dankner, 24, said. 

The 40-minute conferences will be given by 50 NYU and Columbia professors and there will a 15-minute Q&A session at the end of each one, organizers said. 

The bars, mainly in lower Manhattan, can hold from 60 to 200 participants, depending on the venue, and there will be two rounds of lectures, one at 6:30 p.m and one at 8:30 p.m, Dankner said. 

Even though all the talks are free, participants should register online to make sure they get a seat, Dankner said. Registrations opened Tuesday morning and some of the conferences are already full. 

Speakers range from physics researchers and data sciences professors to philosophy and photography teachers. 

"We asked about a hundred students who their favorite professors were, who inspired them," Dankner said when asked how organizers chose the lecturers. 

The program includes a 8:30 p.m. talk by NYU Education History professor Jonathan Zimmerman on how globalization stemmed sex education. The lecture will take place at The Play, on the corner of 27th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Herbert Chase, a Columbia professor of clinical medicine in Biomedical Informatics will talk about the collaboration between humans and machines and how it can provide the best medical care possible. Chase's talk will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Gray Lady in the Lower East Side. 

There's no obligation to buy drinks when attending the talks, but some bars hosting the conferences will offer discounts up to 30 percent for the occasion, Dankner said. 

Last year's event, the first one, drew more than 6,000 people, organizers said. 

To see the evening's full program and book your seats, click here.