SCIENCE celebrities will descend on the county to share their passion for discovery, at this year’s Oxfordshire Science Festival.

Comedian Robin Ince, broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili and Oxford physics professor Frank Close will be among those trying to enthuse young and old with their love of science.

The festival, which is taking place from March 7-23, will see theatres, museums and schools host events, from live experiments to an award-winning dramatic interpretation of Switzerland’s Large Hadron Collider.

The county-wide celebration of science will climax with Abingdon’s Atom science fair, which will see scientists from Harwell and Culham take over the Market Place.

Organiser and scientist Renee Watson – an Oxford Mail columnist – said previous festivals had focused on Oxford but this year’s would spread further afield.

She said: “In the past few years we have done some really interesting public events in Oxford and we wanted to roll that out to other towns across the county.

“Abingdon is the UK’s biggest hub of science technology and industry.

“With centres like Harwell and Culham nearby, it is one of the most exciting places in the country in terms of getting science out of the lab and into the real world.

“There are a huge number of people employed by and affiliated with science, and people living in the area have the opportunity to build bridges with the scientific community to learn more about these industries.”

The festival will be launched with a takeover of Oxford’s Bonn Square on Saturday, March 8, with free hands-on activities and demonstrations.

Other highlights will include Bonn University’s award-winning Particle Physics Show at the Oxford University physics department on Parks Road on March 18.

The show, a dramatic interpretation of the work at the Large Hadron Collider at Cern in Switzerland, boasts to “bring the Higgs Boson to life”.

The illusive particle, discovered finally last year, was dubbed “the God particle” and is believed to give matter gravity.

Abingdon’s Atom festival will kick off on Thursday, March 20, with Converscience, an evening of wit and science at St Helen and St Katharine School, featuring comedian Robin Ince and Oxford physics professor Frank Close.

Friday evening will see physicist Jim Al-Khalili, presenter of the BBC’s Life Scientific, give a talk about the growing science of quantum biology at Abingdon School’s Amey Theatre.

On Saturday, March 22, Abingdon Market Place will be taken over by more than scientific events and stalls.

To see the full programme or buy tickets go to