The Festival team coordinates an accessible, thought-provoking and interactive science festival creating an opportunity for over ten thousand face-to-face interactions between Festival visitors, researchers and innovators.

Festival Director

Dane Comerford

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Dane has worked in public engagement with research for the past decade and is interested in developing the conversation about what research is, what universities are for, and how innovation locates within society.


After his PhD in Bristol, he worked at the Universities of Bristol and Cambridge, where he became Head of Public Engagement leading a team of 12 to deliver live events through festival platforms and drive institutional culture change with NCCPE and Wellcome Trust support.

Dane is familiar with research dynamism and its connection with national trends, industry and academia. He has developed high-level and grass-roots engagement strategies in Japan and USA, across the European Union, and within the UK. One collaborative project was with MIT, University of Cambridge, University of the West of England and Cornell University looking at the value of live science engagement events:

Oxfordshire Science Festival Board of Trustees

Ian Thompson


Georgina Ferry

Ex Officio, The Oxford Trust
Science writer, editor, and broadcaster

Anne Osterrieder

Ex Officio, Oxford Brookes University                                 Lecturer in biology and science communication 

Events Manager

Cathy Rose

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Cathy brings over 16 years’ public engagement events experience; organising, promoting and delivering walks, talks, conferences, workshops, family fun days, wildlife watching river cruises and rural skills courses, including: 

  • The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty outreach and learning programme and nine Chilterns Countryside and Food Festivals, run in partnership with National Trust which annually attracted over 5,000 visitors and 120 local food and craft producers and environmental organisations. 
  • A busy calendar of ten years' events with Natural England at the Aston Rowant National Nature Reserve and neighbouring Field Farm together with five years of the Reserve and Farm’s schools outreach programme.
  • Between 2000 and 2004, Cathy led the Red Kites in the Chilterns awareness-raising project, working with over 40 volunteers to celebrate the return of red kites to the Chilterns countryside; organising an events and education programme including a CCTV ‘Nestwatch’ initiative. She is still in demand as a speaker on the subject of red kites. 

Jennifer Bardsley

Guy's Campus Research Development Lead, King's College London

Lesley Paterson

Ex Officio, University of Oxford
Senior Facilitator & Coordinator, Public Engagement, University of Oxford


If you have the ability and interest in developing the Festival through membership of our Trustee Board, please contact Dane Comerford