A NEW festival, IF Oxford, will take over Oxford city centre for 11 days, starting tomorrow and you are invited.

With more than 120 events and activities at 20 venues around the city and beyond, from Oxford Town Hall, Oxford Library and The Oxford Academy in Littlemore to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and a selection of pubs, there is something for everyone.

Designed for inquisitive minds of all ages, and taking a broad approach to the world, from the everyday science that underpins it to cutting edge discoveries made here in Oxfordshire, the festival is taking a refreshing new approach by including comedy, dance, art and theatre and as well as hands-on events for all ages.

Have a look through the eyes of a modern paramedic or a go at keyhole surgery.

Consider the relationship between protein, masculinity and sporting performance, food for thought for all you gym bunnies and body-builders out there.

And if fat around the waist-line worries you, then spare a thought for the sewers of our city. Oxford has been struck by underground fatbergs over the past few years and you can discover how they form and what we can do about these beasts underfoot.

If nosebag is your game, there are endless food-focused events to tickle your taste buds. You can discover what’s involved in making a sausage – its carbon footprint as well as its calorific content – and investigate the processes that take your food from source to sauce.

Learn about the impact of your plate on the planet.

You can even take part in pop-up ’sustainable’ cooking classes to learn how to produce tasty, nutritious meals which contain little or no meat, and carry away a recipe card to help keep your weekly shop in check.

For those who fancy a tipple, IF Oxford also offers the chance to explore the science of gin and whisky distilling at TOAD: The Oxford Artisan Distillery tucked away off Cheney Lane in Headington.

Here they’ll talk you through the distilling process and the engineering required for spirits production using steam punk equipment originally designed for railways.

Their still even includes an original porthole salvaged from a ship decommissioned in India.

Elsewhere in the festival, you can hear a crystallographer explain why certain crystal structures make chocolate taste so good.

On an entirely different slant, mathematician Tom Crawford has taken a leaf from Jamie Oliver’s book, and is now known as the Naked Mathematician.

Fortunately it’s just the maths he’ll be stripping down as he considers important questions for everyday life such as how can we use science to make better tasting wine?

Or how do you take the perfect penalty kick?

Topics range from solar physics to cybersecurity and forensics to imagined futures.

Be entertained by science in the cemetery, a geological treasure trove, or enjoy an alchemy of acts in a science cabaret.

Hear real stories about life as a scientist or consider how engineering failure serve as an inspiration for fresh innovation.

Discover the hidden super-powers of bacteria, whether diamonds can save the world and uncover the science from the movie Black Panther by venturing into the world of Wakanda, the setting of this year’s Hollywood blockbuster.

The futuristic technology seen in the film may have been imagined, but real scientists in Oxford are working on jet engines, space shuttles and cutting edge tissue engineering that are equally amazing and on transforming Blackbird Leys Community Centre into a ‘Wakandan International Outreach Centre’.

Here local heroes, including Rhodes Scholar, Oxford Blue athlete and engineer Gladys C Ngietich, explore science and ideas from the film.

Festival Director Dane Comerford said: “We are delighted to bring together ideas derived from many different disciplines, to spark curiosity and ignite new interests in adults whatever their background.

“Science is just one part of society and culture, and concepts and advances are most interesting when they pull new ideas into the everyday or take the everyday into new places.

“This city is known around the world for academic excellence and scientific breakthroughs and so it is wonderful to be able to open the door to the people who live here, and give everyone a chance to make some astonishing discoveries.”

IF Oxford has been developed from the Oxfordshire Science Festival which has taken place from 1994–2017 and was attended by 500,000 people since its beginning.

The majority of events at If Oxford are free to enter.

TRY IT OUT: IF Oxford’s science and ideas festival runs from October 12-22 at a variety of venues. if-oxford.com