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Festival of bright ideas sparks thirst for knowledge

UOW's newest professors shared their potentially world-changing research at the second Big Ideas Festival. 

The festival, an initiative by UOW’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Judy Raper, saw 12 of UOW’s recently promoted and appointed professors sharing their research with the public and industry at a free public event on 25 August. 

Interactive research stalls, live music and networking drinks will capped off two sessions of short 10-minute talks on a range of topics, from 3D printed edible robots to deciding when children are to blame for their actions.

Marine biologist Professor Andy Davis discussed the alternatives to shark nets, which are purported to protect swimmers on more than 50 beaches in New South Wales.

“While the efficacy of these nets in protecting swimmers is debated, their ability to destroy harmless marine life is well established. Annually, these nets entangle and kill an array of marine creatures, some of them critically endangered,” Professor Davis said, adding that shark nets are “old technology.”

“We know a lot more about shark movements and behaviour than we did when they were introduced in the 1930s. We need to look to new technologies, such as chemical or electrical deterrents, as alternatives.”

Watch videos of all the talks |  View the photo gallery on Flickr. 

Big Ideas speakers