Meet the team

Festival Director

Dr Dane Comerford

Dane has steered the strategic and artistic direction of the Festival since 2017. He has developed a strong network of academic and corporate supporters for the Festival and has worked with several community groups to co-produce projects linking local people with researchers and artists to create innovative events.

[email protected]

01865 810 027


Festival Manager

Cathy Rose

Cathy leads on the operational side of the Festival, liaising with speakers, performers, venues and volunteers to produce the printed and on-line programme and ensures all the events run smoothly. She also manages the Festival’s finances and administration.

[email protected]

01865 810 016


Dr Ian Thompson (Chair)

Ian founded Buckingham Technologies to support companies in their research strategy and delivery, leading to the commercialisation of new technologies and products. He was formerly Managing Director Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd.

Rory Campbell

Rory works at Meadowbrook College, an alternative provision academy for students who have been excluded from, or have trouble accessing, mainstream schools. AKA Rawz, he is also a rapper with Inner Peace Records and runs music projects with young people across Oxford.

Dr Claire Cockcroft

Claire is Programme Director of the Margaret Thatcher Scolarship Trust at Somerville College, Oxford. She offers consultancy in science communication and public engagement and is a fellow of the Society of Biology and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

Dr Tim Hart

Tim is Development Director at Oxenta, leading the Entrepreneurship & Accelerator service line and has a background in technology commercialisation and entrepreneurship.

Professor David Pyle

David is a volcanologist and Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford. He was appointed the Mathematical, Physical and Life Science Division’s first Academic Champion for Public Engagement with Research in 2017.