Law postgraduate student, Kate Cashman has won the '3 minute thesis' competition.
It took Kate Cashman three minutes of fast-talking to win $2,000 and the chance to claim a further $5,000.
Mrs Cashman, a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Law, is the winner of the 2012 UTAS 3MT (Three-Minute Thesis) competition, organised by Graduate Research and held in the Stanley Burbury Theatre on Friday, 7 September. Her research topic was Lawyers and DNA: Understanding and Challenging the Evidence.
She will now represent UTAS in the Trans-Tasman Competition, to be hosted by the University of Queensland on October 11.
3MT is a research communication competition in which competitors are given three minutes each to present a compelling oration on their thesis topic and its significance. They are allowed to show a single PowerPoint slide but no props. The rules further state that “the talk should engage the audience without reducing the research import to entertainment value only”.
Kate's thesis examines the how DNA evidence is used and understood in criminal cases. She stated in her presentation: "In a number of miscarriage of justice cases in Australia and overseas, people have been convicted on the basis of a DNA ‘match’ that has occurred as a result of contamination or transference and lawyers have been criticised for not questioning the evidence with greater scrutiny."
Kate's research will "...help training institutions and legal organisations plan the resources they have available for lawyers on DNA so that information is available if and when lawyers need it – so lawyers will make fewer mistakes with DNA".