A NEW festival of science will invite residents to find out more about how food relates to health and wildlife habitats.

The If Oxford Science and Ideas Festival has grown out of the Oxfordshire Science Festival, which has run for the past 25 years.

The new celebration of research in the county, run in conjunction with Science Oxford, will focus on a range of different topics, including the impact of what people eat has on their bodies, and on the world.

The festival will run from Friday, October 12 until Monday, October 22 at venues across the city.

Festival director Dane Comerford said: “We wanted to broaden the approach, so we are not just talking about physics and chemistry in a lecture theatre.

“We want to broaden the appeal of this new festival so we will also use cabaret, comedy and dance to show the kind of research that is going on.

“It’s a diverse city so we are trying to pivot towards all kinds of different subjects and audiences who might be interested.”

High-profile speakers will include Prof Susan Jebb OBE, Professor of Diet and Population Health at Oxford University and a government advisor on obesity.

On October 16, she will lead a discussion with personal trainers from the Westgate Centre’s Buzz Gym on Protein and Performance, examining whether people have to eat meat to maintain strength and fitness.

The relationships between health, protein and sporting performance will be food for thought for gym enthusiasts, body builders and people of all shapes and sizes.

On the same day at the Wig & Pen pub in George Street festival goers can find out more about performance enhancement and the effects of anabolic steroids.

There will be a Meat my Planet activity from noon to 6pm in Broad Street on October 12, which looks at how sausages are made.

And they can create protein-rich vegetable-based dishes at free workshops with Oxford University researchers and Good Food Oxford at the Oxford Academy on October 21.

Even the most committed carnivores should enjoy the three-course festival dinner on October 18, served without meat, in Hertford College, where pioneering environmentalist and founder of the World Wildlife Fund, Edward Max Nicholson studied.

Science fans can Head to Littlemore Life Lab on Sunday, October 21 to decipher the science behind the hype surrounding fat and sugar.

They will be asked to consider how fats and foods can cause arteries to block and increase risk of heart disease, and how fatbergs block sewers, costing the UK millions of pounds to remove.

An Explorazone, featuring computing, history and neuroscience will be staged at Oxford Town Hall on the weekend of Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14.

p For more information and a full listing of events and locations visit if-oxford.com