The biggest event on this year’s Ig Nobel UK Tour was filmed, and can now be viewed online. (It’s about 90 minutes long.) This particular show happened Thursday night, March 15, in the Great Hall at Imperial College London. The image at right shows Nature editor-in-chief Philip Campbell and chemist Fiona Barclay going finger-to-nose during the Great Inertia debate, a featured, if brief part of the show.
Thanks to everyone who helped organize the shows, and everyone who participated in them on stage or in the audiences.
Kees Moeliker kept a mini-diary of the tour, which will be published in the Guardian.
Here are tour details, including lineups for each of the shows:
2007 Ig Nobel Tour of the U.K.
March 9-17, 2007 for National Science and Engineering Week
Co-sponsored by the British Association for the Advancement of Science and by The Guardian
|March 9, 2007, Friday, 1:30 pm and 2:15 pm||Cardiff. Two shows at primary schools.
(Because of space limitations, these two events are open to students of the schools only.)
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams and Kees Moeliker.|
|March 9, 2007, Friday, 7:00 pm||Cardiff. Cardiff University
Julian Hodge lecture theatre (off Column Road on Column Drive).
Free. No reservations for this show — seating is strictly first come first seated.
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams, Caroline Mills, Howard Stapleton, Kees Moeliker, Pek Van Andel, Max Whitby & Fiona Barclay, John Hoyland. The event is co-sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. [Organizer: Tammy Boyce boycet2 AT Cardiff.ac.uk]|
|March 12, 2007, Monday, 5:00 pm||Bristol. Hewlett-Packard.
Cabot Auditorium. Building 3, HP Laboratories Bristol, Filton Road, Stoke Gifford
Free. But you must reserve tickets in advance: email jan.ward AT hp.com or telephone 0117 3128032.
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams, Kees Moeliker, Pek Van Andel, John Hoyland, Max Whitby & Fiona Barclay, Charles Spence. Further details to be announced — and a performance of the mini-opera “Atom & Eve” starring Vicki Broderick, Stefek Zaba and Ian Henderson. This event will also be broadcast live to Palo Alto, California and Princeton, New Jersey. The event is co-sponsored by Hewlett-Packard. [Organizer: Jan Ward, jan.ward AT hp.com|
|March 13, 2007, Tuesday, 6:30 pm||London. Guardian Newsroom Archive and Visitor Centre.
60 Farringdon Road.
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams, Chris McManus, Kees Moeliker, Pek Van Andel, John Hoyland, Max Whitby & Fiona Barclay, Charles Spence, and perhaps others -- and a performance of the mini-opera "Inertia Makes the World Go Around" starring Sarah Redmond & Dan Gillingwater & Alice Redmond.|
|March 14, 2007, Wednesday, 6:00 pm||Portsmouth. University of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth Business School (PBS), Richmond Building, Lecture Theatre 1.
Free. To reserve tickets, email [email protected]
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams, Kees Moeliker, Caroline Richmond, Pek Van Andel, John Hoyland ? and a performance of the mini-opera ?Atom & Eve? starring Deborah Hannah, Dominick Symonds and Andrew McVittie. Reception following the show. This event is co-sponsored by the Portsmouth Business School. [Organizer: Andy Thorpe, Andy.Thorpe AT port.ac.uk]|
|March 15, 2007, Thursday, 6:00 pm||London. Imperial College. Great Hall,
Level 2, Sherfield Building, South Kensington campus.
Free. Tickets (limit 2 per person) must be obtained in advance. Email [email protected] with your name, email and postal address. Tickets will be mailed approximately one week before the show and the tickets entitle everyone one free drink (beer, wine or soft drink) at the reception following the show.
NOTE: Anyone who has not received their tickets by Wednesday 14th March should email [email protected] to let them know.
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams, Chris McManus, Kees Moeliker, Pek Van Andel, John Hoyland, Bart Knols, Philip Campbell, Max Whitby & Fiona Barclay, Howard Stapleton, trumpeter Laura Garwin — and a performance of the mini-opera “Inertia Makes the World Go Around” starring Sarah Redmond & Dan Gillingwater & Jacqui Charlesworth. Reception following the show. This event is co-sponsored by Imperial College’s Graduate Schools. [Organizer: Sophie White, sophie.white AT imperial.ac.uk].Video of this event will be posted online several days later.|
|March 17, Saturday, 3:00 pm||Cambridge.
Babbage Lecture Theatre,
University of Cambridge New Museums Site, Downing Street
Free. To reserve tickets, telephone +44(0)1223 766766 or email [email protected]
|Featuring: Marc Abrahams, Chris McManus, Pek Van Andel, Caroline Richmond, Kees Moeliker, John Hoyland, Emily Cockayne, Erwin Kompanje. Further details to be announced. This event is part of the Cambridge Science Festival. [Organizer: Nicola Buckley, njb1010 AT admin.cam.ac.uk]|
|If you would like to host an event for the 2008 tour at your institution, please email marca AT chem2.harvard.edu|
What and who: The shows feature Marc Abrahams, organizer of the Ig Nobel Prizes, editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, and Guardian columnist, together with a gaggle of Ig Nobel Prize winners and other great scientists, musicians, and other thinkers. Most (perhaps, just perhaps, all) events will include a performance of a mini-opera, and and also The Great Inertia Debates. Each show will include a unique combination of these individuals:
- Kees Moeliker is curator of birds at the Natural History Museum Rotterdam. He won the 2003 Ig Nobel Biology Prize for documenting the first scientifically recorded case of homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck. He is also the Annals of Improbable Research European Bureau Chief.
- Caroline Mills is lead author of the medical study “A Man Who Pricked His Finger and Smelled Putrid for 5 Years,” for which she later received the 1998 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize. She is a Consultant Dermatologist at the Royal Gwent Hospital.
- Howard Stapleton invented The Mosquito, an electromechanical teenager repellant — a device that makes annoying high-pitched noise designed to be audible to teenagers but not to adults, for which he later received the 2006 Ig Nobel Peace Prize. He is president of the Compound Security company.
- Chris McManus wrote the study “Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture,” for which he later received the 2002 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize. He is Professor of Psychology and Medical Education at University College London.
- Philip Campbell is the editor of Nature. Several Ig Nobel Prize winners published their prize-winning research in that journal.
- Bart Knols collaborated on studies showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet. This resulted, eventually, in the 2006 Ig Nobel Biology Prize. He is a docent in the Entomology Department at Wageningen University.
- John Hoyland created and edits the “Feedback” column in New Scientist Magazine. He is a repository of improbable discoveries.
- Max Whitby and Fiona Barclay collaborated with Theo Gray to assemble the world’s first periodic table table — a large, lovely, four-legged piece of furniture that contains all the elements of the periodic table (except those that are overly lethal or have half-lives that are vanishingly small). The result: the 2002 Ig Nobel Chemistry Prize. Max is in the Computational Physical Chemistry Group at Imperial College London and founding director of RGB Research. Fiona, a biochemist, is business development manager of RGB Research.
- Caroline Richmond writes colorful obituaries of the UK’s most colorful doctors. Her obituaries appear in the BMJ and other publications of record.
- Pek Van Andel, an opthalmologist and classical scholar based in Groningen. He took the first MRI images of a couple’s reproductive organs while the were in use, for which he later won the 2000 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize.
- Emily Cockayne is Research Associate in History at the Open University. She wrote the study “Cacophony, or Vile Scrapers on Vile Instruments: Bad Music in Early Modern English Towns” and the new book Hubbub — Filth, Noise, and Stench in England, 1600-1770.
- Charles Spence conducted acoustic/psychological experiments using Pringles crisps and a sound-proof booth. He is a professor in the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology.
- Erwin Kompanje is a clinical ethicist at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a scholar of overlooked spectacular medical history.
- and others.