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The IF-Oxford science and ideas festival is back this year with 100 events taking place across the city between 18-28 October, covering a vast range of topics and ideas. You can download the full programme here.

A fantastic way to learn about different engagement activities and approaches is to go along to go see some engagement in action, so if you’re curious about PER, this is an excellent opportunity.

This year there are 11 events featuring researchers from across MPLS:

Immersed in Conservation: An escape room for conservation education

Sat 19 Oct, 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre

"Immersed in Conservation" is an immersive escape game that empathizes with endangered species and finds ways of rescuing their fate. The game allows you to experience conservation science in a fun and collaborative way and learn how daily actions can effect species on the other side of the world.


Westgate Wonderlab

Westgate Shopping Centre, Sat 19 Oct, 9am-5pm

Exhibits include:

Discover life in a Quantum City

Imagine a future city with driverless vehicles, cameras that can see the invisible, quantum computers that can develop new drugs, sensors that could predict earthquakes and secure communications that cannot be hacked. Discover more about the transformative effect of quantum technologies in everyday life!


Designing the future – engineers reimagining the world

Discover research from the world’s leading Engineering Science department. From robotics and wireless power toys or paper programming and origami structures to smartphone apps aiding recovery from stroke. Meet the engineers providing hands on demonstrations of their latest research.



Oxford Town Hall, Sun 20 Oct, 12-5pm

Exhibits include:

Welcome to Quantum City

(see above)


Epigenetics: how do identical twins differ?

Environmental factors alter how we develop and age. Find out how chemistry influences which of our genes are activated and inactivated. This allows caterpillars to transform to butterflies, explains why identical twins look increasingly different as they age, and impacts upon our health and well-being.


Physics: from the Lab into your Life

Clarendon Lab, Tues 22 Oct, 6.30 - 9pm

How is physics research being used to change your life? We are opening our doors to showcase some of the ways research can become technology, and physics can move from the lab into your life. This evening event includes talks, hands-on demos and lab tours.


Making Faces

John Lewis, Weds 23 Oct, 6.15pm

How people become unrecognisable depends on who’s viewing. Contouring, volumised lashes and a smokey eye change a look, but can it trick facial recognition software? Explore makeup artistry from Charlotte Tilbury and City of Oxford College to see how much faces can change. People are more than just selfie, so join Niki Trigoni from the University of Oxford Cyber Physical System Group for the latest in multimodal recognition that can combines faces with voice and walking gait to help spot the whole person.


The Maths of Tattoos with the Naked Mathematician

Bullingdon, Wed 23 Oct, 8.30pm

Do you like maths? Do you like maths SO much that you would get a maths-themed tattoo? How about 6? Come and hear from the ‘Naked Mathematician’ Dr Tom Crawford as he explains the meaning behind his many maths-themed tattoos. Topics covered include the most beautiful equation in maths, one-sided bridges that never end, Plato’s explanation of the universe, and a question with an answer worth $1 million…


The Crowd and the Cosmos

Wig & Pen, Fri 25 Oct, 6.30-8pm

Scientists need your help! As we get more information about the Universe, we risk becoming overwhelmed but – as Oxford astronomer Chris Lintott explains in his new book, you can help. Hear from Oxford scientists who have worked with volunteers to find planets, and to count penguins, and even hunt aliens.


The Annual Charles Simonyi Lecture

Oxford Playhouse, Fri 25 Oct, 5pm

Join Marcus du Sautoy and a specially invited guest lecturer for this year’s Simonyi lecture. Aimed at the general public, the lecture is the highlight of the University of Oxford’s programme to engage the public in the excitement and wonder of science.


Science at the Shops

Templars Square Shopping Centre, Sat 26 – Sun 27 Oct, Various times

Exhibits include:

Brains, bones and biology: imaging science

Peer beneath your skin. Use a smartphone to explore human anatomy. Look through the eyes of an imaging scientist: why use X-rays to look at bones, but ultrasound to look at babies? Talk to our scientists and discover the wonders of imaging science.


Particle physics adventures with Minecraft

Explore a virtual model of the CERN laboratory and ATLAS experiment in the Minecraft computer game. Learn how we study the fundamental building blocks of the universe using silicon particle detectors.


Managing your digital self

A visual exploration of the personal data routinely generated in daily life, through smart devices at home, digital mobile devices used by millions of families, as well as various portable devices surround every bit of your life.


The WildCRU game: Global Carnivore Conservation – part of the Board Game Café

Old Fire Station Mon 28 Oct, 11am - 3.30pm

The WildCRU Game: Global Carnivore Conservation is a co-operative boardgame that features stories and research of real researchers. During our session, we will play a short 40-min version of the game where players steps in the shoes of real conservations and experience their challenges and adventures.


Mobile Robot Workshop

City of Oxford College BBL, Mon 28 Oct, 11.30 - 12.30; 1-2pm; 2.30 - 3.30pm

Build your very own line following robot in collaboration with Students for STEM Access (SSA). See how fun and rewarding it can be to experiment with and test your ideas as you build a robot capable of following a line. During this workshop you will work in groups of 3 or 4 to learn and apply some basic electronics and programming skills, giving you a taste for the scope and versatility of robotics. No prior electronics or programming experience is required.


Have we missed you? Let us know!