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What If? Our Top Picks for IF Oxford Science and Ideas festival

Saturday 15th September 2018

With over 100 events for all the family, next month’s Oxford Science & Ideas Festival – IF for short – is one to get in the diary ASAP. Running from 12-22 October 2018, IF promises a broad range of fascinating talks, shows and interactive activities that combine health, engineering and space with dance, hip-hop and comedy.

Science Oxford is proud to be an associate partner of the festival – and who wouldn’t be when you can watch choreography of the sun (8 Minutes), explore how data shapes politics (Big Data, Big Future!) and get hands-on with some of the latest amazing research coming out of Oxford in the family-orientated Explorazone?

We’ll be running a selection of clubs and activities for young people at IF, plus a CSI-themed science whodunnit for grown-ups CSI Oxford – Forensic Challenge (New Road Baptist Church) and starry Science Cabaret (Wig & Pen) featuring Helen Arney (Festival of the Spoken Nerd), Lucy Rogers (Robot Wars) and Chris Lintott (BBC Sky at Night).

Many of the events are free or Pay What You Decide (PWYD) – the full IF programme is now available online.

Read on for some of our Science Oxford team’s Top Five picks of the festival… of course, with the proviso they weren’t allowed to choose any of our own IF events!
Look out for another five coming soon…

Maths v Sport New Road Baptist Church (October 18)

“We all know that there must be maths involved in the way we play sport – working out just how hard it is to strike a golf club, kick a ball to make it arc etc., but how do our brains make such complicated calculations in an instance? I can’t wait to find out!” – Steve Burgess, CEO



2 – Big Ideas on Broad Street (October 12)
“I love the sound of ‘Big Ideas on Broad Street’, where science takes to the streets! Lots of hands-on activities to suit all ages, challenge your memory and dexterity, see the inviable and find out how medicines work… it all looks great fun and I’ll be bringing my family along.” – Jude Eades, Director of Communications.



3 – Izibongo celebrating African and Diasporic Art, Oxfordshire County Library, Westgate (October 20)
“My top event at If Oxford is Izibongo – the name is intriguing and I’d like to find out more about African art.” – Georgina Matthews, Communications Manager




4 – Science in a Cemetery, Holywell Cemetery (October 13) 

“I shall be heading along to the ‘Science in a Cemetery’ sessions. These little oases are not just the preserve of the dead; these historic wild spaces can hide a host of scientific secrets including evidence of climate change, air pollution medical history and geology among others.” – Roger Baker, Outdoor Education & Ecology Manager



5 – What If.. Rodney P & Inner Peace Records, Oxford Playhouse (October 19) + Blackbird Leys Community Centre (October 21)
“What If.. a legendary rapper got together with some fresh Oxfordshire musical talent, and worked with kids to devise a performance about things that matter to them, held at the most fancy theatre in town…?  Some of my pals at Inner Peace are collaborating on this project, so I can’t wait to see what they all come up with.”- Autumn Neagle, Digital Comms

“It might surprise many but even at 60 I still like rap! So combining this art form and social science is a double plus. Just got to find my baseball cap to wear.” – Steve Burgess, CEO

Check out for full details.

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