Cafe Scientifique is now located at the University of Oxford Department of Pharmacology
Upon reopening in December 2022 the Oxford Cafe Scientifique moved to the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford, in its top-floor common room. Our grateful thanks to Pharmacology and particularly Carolyn Thackrah, for the assistance. IMPORTANT - we must exit the building with all our equipment and personnel by 9pm at the absolute latest...
The OU Department of Pharmacology is based at Mansfield Rd, Oxford OX1 3QT.
Telephone 01865-271850 9am-9pm.
The building is on the eastern side of Mansfield Road, Oxford, down a side-road nearly opposite the buildings of Mansfield College. To reach Pharmacology walk or cycle through the gates past the barrier entry and look slightly to your left: the door of the Pharmacology building is in the inside corner of the yellowish building ahead and to the left of you. It has a small cycle rack area in front of it, a handful of disabled parking spaces, shallow steps and a long wheelchair access ramp.
See https://goo.gl/maps/wKTgWAvSvzbk5sK28 on Google Maps for street plans, photos, and to work out driving directions.
See also the Pharmacology access guide not only for accessibility information, but also for photos. The last five photographs at the foot of that page are of the top-floor common room the Cafe will be using.
Cycling - The department of Pharmacology is easily reached by bicycle. Access Mansfield Road either from Holywell Street (cycle northwards until you reach the last side-road on the right before South Parks Road). Or from South Parks Road, in which case you're looking for the first side-road on the left after turning into Mansfield Road. There are plenty of cycle racks just in front of the building.
Driving and parking - see map and postcode above. There is no public parking space at the venue itself: all cars and minibuses need to park on Mansfield Road, which is a pay and display area. The exception is those with disabled badges who may phone the building's reception in advance (see number above) in order to arrange to use the small number of disabled parking spaces. These people can then use the intercom at the drop-barrier blocking the side-road to speak directly to reception and be let in. Reception is manned until 9pm at night.
On-road car parking - Those without disability permits need to find the nearest pay-and-display machine (there are several a short walk in either direction). Rates are £6 per hour for up to two hours, however, all parking tickets issued after 6:30pm or extending beyond 6:30pm cost a flat rate of £6. This means that anyone parking at 5:31 or afterwards will pay no more than £6. Payment is primarily by card, although a ring-and-pay option may be available at some machines, and some of the older ones may still take cash (no guarantees). There is typically plenty of parking on Mansfield Road from 5pm onwards.
Bus routes - During the later evening the only bus routes are those into/out of the centre of Oxford, which includes all major routes in every direction. However in the early evening the Science Transit 1 still runs until 8pm, picking up from Harwell, Milton and then in Oxford the far end of Abingdon Road, Donnington Bridge Road then Iffley Road and along St Cross Road. It drops off at a South Parks Road stop only a few steps west of the junction of Mansfield Road and South Parks, from where it is a short walk to the Department of Pharmacology. See the ST1 Oxford Bus Company page for details and times. The most useful two drop-off times are at around 18:30 and a few minutes after 19:00, both of which would get you there for the whole Cafe, though the drop just before 19:40 would get you there in time for the discussion. However, the problem with this is that the return buses stop running at 18:45 so other routes from the city centre would need to be used for returning. The new system on Oxford buses allows users to pay by chip-and-pin debit or credit card which will ensure they are charged the lowest possible amount for their trips each day.
All users should buzz the front door of Pharmacology and will be let in by the night receptionist/porter, who has control of the locked door. Directly opposite the entrance there is a small lift, which will take you up to the fourth (top) floor. There is full disabled access to the building, to the lift, and to the top-floor common room being used by the Cafe Scientifique.
When you arrive at the top floor, the lift is very close to the door of the common room. There is a bench outside to rest on if you need to wait for a while to be let in. Audience members will not be let into the common room until the organisers are ready, usually not before 6:45pm.
The Pharmacology common room has a large outside balcony with seating which in summer is a great place to enjoy a glass of wine overlooking central southern Oxford while waiting for the talk to start.
Directly opposite the common room doorway is a short passage, and immediately on the right are male and female toilets and a well-sized disabled toilet.
The common room does not have a hearing loop, but we are bringing in a speaker-amplifier for each event and the usual microphones will be used.
The tables are slightly larger than used at previous Cafe venues, but there are also some low comfortable upholstered chairs and sofas near the speaker's corner. First come, first served on chair choice.
A limited amount of snacks and drinks (water, squash and red/white wine) are offered by the Cafe to the earlier arrivals, but may run out. Costs for these are covered by donations so those taking advantage of supplied refreshments are asked to contribute to the Cafe donation hat in return. A donation of approx 80p-£1 is recommended for a glass of wine. Audience members are also very welcome to bring their own snacks and drinks of any kind, and glasses can be provided. There is a cash/card coffee machine in the common room which can provide hot drinks, and a water cooler for free chilled water. The Pharmacology daytime cafe cannot stay open for our events as the staffing costs would be excessive.
Eating and drinking near Pharmacology
There are plenty of good cafes and restaurants open late in the city centre, though some of those nearer Mansfield Road do tend to shut their kitchens before the Cafe finishes on early-week nights such as Tuesday. It is recommended that you ring in advance. The closest place is the Turf Tavern (a short walk away between Holywell Street and Queen's Lane) which claims that its kitchen remains open until 9pm (might be best to order over the phone before arrival). All other restaurants and pubs are at least two streets away.