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Oxford science and ideas festival contributors celebrated

IF Oxford, the city’s all-encompassing science festival, will returns from October 6 – 29 with over 100 events and activities for adults, children and teenagers in venues across Oxford and beyond.

thisisoxfordshire: Academics, business leaders and cultural partners celebrating contributors to IF OxfordAcademics, business leaders and cultural partners celebrating contributors to IF Oxford (Image: Ed Nix)

The festival programme launched over the August bank holiday weekend with street banners and magazines co-produced by OX Magazine distributed across the city.

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On Tuesday, September 5, academics, business leaders and cultural partners applauded the efforts of several hundred contributors who have spent a year creating events for thousands of people this autumn.

At the celebration event, Dane Comerford, Director of IF Oxford, reflected on the exciting possibilities available to people who might not normally consider science as a future for them: “The world has been shaken pretty violently over the past few years, with pandemics, terrifying climactic events and a global economic downturn resulting in people across society feeling vulnerable.

“Science isn’t a magic wand that can make all of the bad stuff go away, but it is a reliable way to find answers to entrenched and complex problems.

“The UK is well-known as a technology innovator and if there are more people, crucially from a broader range of backgrounds, involved in STEM and STEM-related roles it’s likely that the future will be brighter for both the people engaged in the quest for discovery and the world’s population at large.”

A constant feature of IF Oxford is to inspire people to consider ways to be part of innovative solutions to major environmental, economic and healthcare issues.

According to British Science Association data, around three quarters of UK adults either don’t see science as something for them, or don’t know where to find enjoyable and accessible science events.

IF Oxford is one opportunity to buck that trend and highlight the complexity, wonder and opportunities of scientific research in a cultural and social context.

Hundreds of organisations have participated over the past six years, counting local, national and international businesses, including the star-makers UK Atomic Energy Authority, MRI machine manufacturers Siemens Healthineers and the diamond company Element Six.

The regional science ecosystem – and the places creating high-paying, creative jobs – also includes the venture and development capital company Oxford Science Enterprises and science parks like ARC Oxford, Begbroke and Harwell Campus, plus a whole range of professional services including the law firm Mills & Reeve, property developer Bidwells and intellectual property firm Marks & Clerk.

The celebration event was hosted at the Marks & Clerk suite in Oxford to highlight alternative careers in the growing and vibrant regional science economy.


This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1


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