Unwanted pain wanted pleasure

As IF Oxford Science and Ideas Festival opens with over 100+ events to book and enjoy. Here’s our top pick of WHAT NOT TO MISS!

  1. STARMAKERS: The Energy of Tomorrow, Science Oxford Centre, Headington, October 18, 7pm. The Joint European Torus is the world’s largest star machine, working in the heart of Oxfordshire. The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is pushing physical and engineering boundaries to test fusion fuels for the future. Join fusion scientists in discussion after this documentary film screening of scientists and engineers breaking a world record. BOOK NOW
Starmakers sun

2) UNWANTED PAIN AND WANTED PLEASURE (18+), The Bullingdon, Cowley Road. October 10. 7.30pm Adults concerned about unwanted pain during consensual sex are invited to this frank and open discussion chaired by BBC Radio Oxford’s Sophie Law. Hear from experts to discuss endometriosis, vaginismus, menopause, chronic pelvic pain and associated psychological aspects, with tips for open and safe conversations with partners. Questions are encouraged so grab a drink and join in. BOOK HERE

3) RECLAIM YOUR LIFE IN A TECH-OBSESSED WORLD: Saturday 14 Oct, 1.30pm, Somerville College Chapel, Oxford. Psychologists Elaine Kasket and Ulrik Lyngs discuss how to get back in the driver’s seat in your interactions with tech, to help you align your technology use with the kind of life and relationships you want. BOOK HERE

4) THE BREAKUP MONOLOGUES: FRIENDSHIP, The Bullingdon, Cowley Road, October 17. Dubbed ‘the queen of breakups’ on BBC Radio 4, Rosie Wilby is known for her comedic reflections on the human condition. In this live podcast recording expect humour, heartache and of course science. Grab a drink and join guests Robin Dunbar and Max Dickins to discuss the beginnings and endings of platonic friendships. BOOK HERE

The Breakup Monologues photo by steve ullathorne

5) PLASTIC DRASTIC FANTASTIC! PEGASUS Theatre, October 21, 11am and 2pm. A contemporary dance theatre work for children and their families from South Asian dance company Akademi which explores humanity’s complex relationship with plastics. Drawing from the Indian classical dance form Bharatanatyam and South Asian dance techniques, the artists investigate plastics and the dangers of their misuse, through intricate movement, gestures and play, infused with interaction with the audience. BOOK HERE

6) POWERING THE FUTURE: UKAEA OPEN DAY TOUR, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, Abingdon. October 21. 10am. Your chance to tour the This UK Atomic Energy Authority facility which houses the world’s largest operating fusion machine. See the equipment developing sustainable fusion energy and power-up conversations with engineers, scientists and technicians. BOOK HERE

7) PERCEIVING THINGS DIFFERENTLY: PSYCHOSIS, New Road Baptist Church, Oxford. October 9. 7pm. What is psychosis? Find out with Kathy Sykes, in a friendly discussion with psychiatrist Paul Harrison and others who have experienced psychosis. Compare perspectives, share tips on supporting people with psychosis and explore signs and symptoms informed by the latest mental health research. BOOK HERE

8) FEEDBACK LOOPS, Oxford Playhouse, October 28, 3pm. BOOK HERE This pioneering production offers insights on living with depression, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis via a dancer wearing a medical device that tracks movement, pulse and electrodermal activity. These biometrics write the music live this stage premiere. Expect to leave inspired, empowered, and touched.

Feedback Loops – credit Chris Scott Studio

9) IMPROBABLE RESEARCH: SCIENTIFIC ANSWERS TO RIDICULOUS QUESTIONS, The Bullingdon, October 17. Dr Tom Crawford shares some of his favourite, unusual and seemingly trivial achievements in scientific research in The Ig Nobel Prizes – from constipated scorpions to obese politicians. BOOK HERE

Improbable Research

10) PETS AND THEIR PEOPLE, The Story Museum, Oxford. October 28. 2.30pm. Author, vet and CBeebies presenter Dr Jess French shows how, even if you can’t own a pet, you can still care for animals in lots of other ways – from volunteering at animal shelters to leaving food for them out in the wild. From old favourites such as playful puppies and cuddly cats, to more unusual pets such as lizards and snakes. Suitable for ages 7 – 12. BOOK HERE

Pets and their people

11) MINED OVER MATTER. STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell campus, Didcot. October 27. 1.30pm Join Chris Toth from STFC’s Boulby Underground Laboratory for a family-friendly guide to the bizarre mystery that is dark matter. Ongoing work to find this elusive stuff happens over 1km deep underground in Yorkshire! Find out more at a light-hearted talk with time for questions followed by exciting hands-on activities for all ages at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. In person or online via Zoom webinar There is a similar chat for adults and young people at 7pm. BOOK HERE

12) WARNING NOTES BY MARK ANDERSON, Florence Park, Oxford. October 27-28. A powerful immersive sonic experience of suspense and shifting sounds. A captivating sound-world that comes alive through an ever-changing outdoor live performance, to give a voice to the social and ecological alarm rippling across our planet. The new show is improvised and responsive to audience and environment, inviting us to listen to the present and contemplate both personal and global stories – and our future together. BOOK HERE

Warning Notes

13) HAUNTED OXFORD: WANDERING GHOST STORIES, October 13 and 21. Martyr’s Memorial, Oxford. Join Uncomfortable Oxford for a tour of Oxford’s spectral past. Explore historic truths behind ghost stories embedded in the city’s medieval landscape and architecture. Question the origins of ghost stories and other spine-chilling tales, asking what they mean, why stories persist into the present and how and who we remember as ghosts. BOOK HERE

Haunted Oxford

If Oxford Science and Ideas Festival runs until October 29. For more information go to https://if-oxford.com/events/