A CALL the Midwife star will answer questions from science buffs at a long-awaited festival in Oxford this autumn.

The city’s science and ideas festival IF Oxford will return this year in a brand new digital format and it will feature an abundance of exciting activities.

Actor Stephen McGann, who is best known for portraying Doctor Patrick Turner in the popular BBC One period drama series, will join a panel to discuss the scientific possibilities of erasing a person's memories.

The talk will follow the screening of The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet and Kirsten Dunst, which centres around 'memory erasure'.

The online event on Saturday, October 24, is only one of a long list of 'trail-blazing' activities festival-goers can enjoy from their homes.

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IF Oxford offers adults and children a chance to explore big ideas and ask questions about science, humanity, the world at large and beyond.

The festival, which will take place throughout October, is set to bring together 'real time cutting-edge research' from world-leading academics to the county's residents.

Explaining the unique style of this year's festival director of IF Oxford Dane Comerford said: "We have been working hard to recreate the excitement of the festival in cyberspace, taking events like dance, theatre and hands-on interactive activities online in innovative ways.

"We have extended the calendar of events to cover the whole of October and the range of topics is vast – from the inner worlds of mental health to the outer limits of space."

Mr Comerford assured that the festival will appeal to adults and families of all shapes and sizes.

He added that it is set to 'spark curiosity and conversations about how life intersects with science every moment of every day'.

Science enthusiasts will also be able to stroll through the corridors of the Oxford labs creating the Covid-19 vaccine at Headington’s Jenner Institute.

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The 360 degrees interactive 'walk' will show the latest work on both the virus today and other globally-important diseases.

The 'explorazone' activity will take place on Saturday, October 17, from 8am until 9pm.

Speaking of the importance of the festival Mr Comerford commented: "Oxford is a powerhouse of innovation and imagination.

"Hundreds of researchers are poised to welcome thousands of people on a journey of intrigue and discovery."

As part of the festivities there will also be talks on contemporary dance, film and music that people can tune into from the comfort of their sofas.

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Thousands of visitors pounded the pubs, shops, schools and libraries across the city to take part in hundreds of events last year, however, organisers 'moved' the festival online in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Since its inception in 1992 it has aimed to promote an enjoyment of numerous fields of scientific study.

This year's full programme will be available from the beginning of September.

For more information about the different activities visit www.if-oxford.com