IF Oxford is back with a month-long festival of 100 events celebrating science and ideas for adults, children and teenagers on a dynamic new online platform. 

From Thursday 1 to Saturday 31 October the festival brings together real time cutting-edge research from world-leading academics with wide-ranging events to excite the imagination, from dance, film, debate, demos from dining tables, and suggestions for hands-on activities to try at home.

Festival-goers can uncover big ideas and ask even bigger questions about science, humanity, the world at large and beyond.

The online Explorazone Digital event will give viewers the chance to enjoy dozens of free hands-on demonstrations and activity ideas for all ages in a virtual exhibition hall and auditorium, and be teleported into Oxford city on Saturday 17 October from 8am to 9pm.

This is a digital direct replacement to the big hands-on areas the festival has previously run in Oxford Town Hall, the Westgate and Templars Square shopping centres. 

Here visitors can discover the smallest particles in the universe and travel to the edge of space, tour the Oxford labs creating the COVID-19 vaccine at Headington’s Jenner Institute or avert a catastrophic flood while filling up a virtual ‘swag bag’ with goodies and try-at-home experiments.

Enjoy a new contemporary dance performance created using motion-capture software during lock-down in response to the COVID-19 crisis, a collaboration between nationally-acclaimed choreographer Alexander Whitley, Oxford’s Parasol Dance Group and the Oxford University Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

Unearth the secrets of a good spacesuit with Daniel Craig double, stuntman and extreme adventurer Andy Torbet or join actor Steven McGann, Dr Patrick Turner in the popular BBC period drama Call the Midwife, as he joins other panellists discussing the scientific possibilities of a memory erasure in response to the film The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).

Tempt your taste buds with an insight into the science behind your morning coffee, a foray into chocolate making, a virtual apple day or take part in a gin tasting that takes you around the world.

With poetry, politics, music and more, there’s something to intrigue everyone whatever their interests. The majority of events are free to attend (donations are welcome using the Festival’s Pay What You Decide).

Organisers have tried to find ways to bring great ideas and activities to people during the pandemic and not only focus on online activity.

There is a special Curiosity Box crammed with relevant equipment and materials for experiments that bring Explorazone Digital into the physical world https://if-oxford.com/event/if-ox-curiosity-box/.

The festival has teamed up with STFC and the Oxford Lights Festival to put on a series of LED coding workshops and there’s a coding kit available to buy or you can win one of 50 packs: https://if-oxford.com/events/?_search=glow 

There is gin, chocolate, coffee tasting online (with recommended samples or choose your own) and there’s dental kits (disclosing tablets and some dental hygiene tools) with the Engineering a Great Smile project https://if-oxford.com/event/engineering-a-great-smile/.

All the details are at www.if-oxford.com

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