HUNDREDS of shoppers stopped in their tracks this weekend as a giant green dinosaur took over part of the Westgate Centre.

The life-sized Iguanodon was put into Leiden Square as part of the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival, also known as IF Oxford, which is taking over the city’s shops, theatres and bars for 11 days to fuel fascination into science fiction.

This year more than 120 events are being staged for the festival across the city and beyond.

From science labs at the city’s university’s to the Westgate Centre and pubs dotted around Oxford – the festival’s organisers have made it a mission to host something for the inquisitive minds of all ages using a fresh approach of belly-laughing comedy, inclusive dance and hands-on events at unexpected venues.

Oxford Mail:

The team behind the programme are trustees from Oxfordshire Science Festival with a smaller group working all year round.

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The festival was kick-started on Friday and will run through until October 28.

On its website, it says: “We want the complexity, wonder and opportunities of science research to be explored, challenged and enjoyed across the city.”

There has been a science festival in Oxford since 1992 with 500,000 members of the public visiting over the past 25 years.

Over the weekend science comedian Brian Malow visited locals at the Wig and Pen pub on George Street.

The programme promised hoppy jokes about the universe and the Big Bang over a pint.

At the Westgate Centre a fancy feast was put on inside the life-like dinosaur with Oxford University Museum of Natural History exhibiting old fossils to show off evolution and open up a chat about why the extinct mammals are so important.

Oxford Mail:

Later on in the week and elsewhere in the city, John Lewis will team up with Charlotte Tilbury, the make-up brand, to show how much faces can change with contouring, lashes and a smokey eye.

Wednesday’s event will be staged to show off and trick the new high-tech face recognition software which is on lots of swish new mobile phones.

On an entirely different slant, the New Road Baptist Church will open its doors in Bonn Square on Wednesday evening, to ask moral questions about whether vaccinations will be vital in improving global heath.

The county’s library will also open up for an introduction into coding.

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The event, which is aimed at teenagers and adults who don’t know where to start, is free and will get users going with specialist software like micro:bit or Raspberry Pi.

A lot of the events are free to enter with some requiring booking ahead.

Others are labelled ‘PWYD’ – pay what you decide.

The full programme of events, along with other useful of information can be found at