Nobel interviews Geim about his Ig Nobel

Telephone interview with Andre Geim following the announcement of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics, 5 October 2010. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of (which also has an audio recording on their site.) We take the liberty of reproducing here the last part of that interview:

AS] Thank you. I should just finish by asking, since you’re the first Laureate, to my knowledge, to have been awarded an IgNobel Prize and a Nobel Prize, do you plan to …

[AG] To my knowledge too!

[AS] Do you plan to display them together in the office?

[AG] Ah. Unfortunately, the IgNobel Prize … I have somewhere the IgNobel Prize in my office. But, it’s not really something, ok, visually attractive. OK, but speaking seriously, I’m actually quite proud of my IgNobel Prize – not because of IgNobel Prize  – it’s a more subtle association. Essentially, yeah, IgNobel Prize is given for something which forces people to smile. And, that was always the idea behind the flying frog, which we shared with another distinguished scientist, Professor Sir Michael Berry, known for his ‘Berry phase’. And, the second thing which with Nobel Prize, it’s quite obvious that, if you are offered, I’m not aware about anyone who rejected an offer of Nobel Prize, ok. Although history might be long.

[AS] Well, there’s Jean Paul Sartre but, otherwise, you’re pretty much right, yes.

[AG] Yeah, ok, so, so … But, with IgNobel Prize they ask you a few weeks in advance whether you are ready to accept this prize or not. So we considered hard and, at the end, we had courage to accept this IgNobel Prize, yeah. So, I’m proud that I had enough courage to do that and I do not regret accepting it.

[AS] It certainly doesn’t seem to have done you any harm. On the contrary, I suspect.

[AG] Yeah, with the benefit of hindsight! Ha!

[AS] Ok, well thank you very much …

[AG] Ah, ok, bye.

BONUS: The photo below was taken at the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. The central characters are Andre Geim and Ig Nobel minordomo Julia Lunetta.

4 Responses to “Nobel interviews Geim about his Ig Nobel”

  1. WW: Nobelprijs voor (1/3e) Nederlander - GeenCommentaar Says:

    […] is trouwens dat Geim de allereerste Nobel laureaat is die ook winnaar is van de illustere tegenhanger van de prijs, de Ig Nobel prijs. Hij kreeg deze voor zijn geslaagde pogingen levende kikkers met behulp van magneten te laten […]

  2. **Peeking in on the wacky world of science « scientists say WHAT? Says:

    […] <; […]

  3. Michael Casini Says:

    Nice interview! He’s a very noble and modest man that apreciates what he have won. Even though it’s huge achievement he totally ain’t bragging about it or showing unneccesary behaviour.

    Michael Casini

  4. Exert Inca Says:

    Great achievement from Geim! Kinda ironic that he got the IG nobel prize like 10 years ago for his flying frog and now he finally got what he deserved. He’s a great physician after all. Congratulations Mr. Geim!

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