Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

Ig Nobel Prize Winners at EPFL, in Lausanne, Tuesday night

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

Magnetically aligned defecating dogs, non-yawning tortoises, and randomly selected leaders — these things and more will be part of the Ig Nobel show at EPFL.

WHEN: Tuesday, 21 March, 2017, 18:00 – 20:00
WHERE: Forum Rolex, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland
TICKET INFO and other DETAIL are on the EPFL web site.

The night will feature:

  • Marc Abrahams — Father of the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and editor of Annals of Improbable Research
  • Ludwig Huber (University of Vienna) — 2011 Physiology Prize Winner — “Absence of contagious yawning in tortoises”
  • Alessandro Pluchino (Università di Catania) — 2010 Management Prize Winner — “Organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random”
  • Hynek Burda (University of Duisburg-Essen and Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague) — 2014 Biology Prize Winner — “Defecating dogs align their body axis with Earth’s north-south geomagnetic field lines”

Several hundred other Ig Nobel Prize winners will also be present in the room — the 2008 Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to all the citizens of Switzerland, for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.

This event is part of the Ig Nobel Spring Eurotour, which visited England last week, and will arrive eventually in Norway, Sweden, Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, and Scotland.

Ig Nobel at Imperial College London, Friday evening

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The big Ig Nobel show at Imperial College London happens Friday evening, March 17, 2017, starting at 6 pm.

WHERE: IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON, UK — in The Great Hall, the Sherfield Building, South Kensington campus. TICKETS: The event is booked full.. But… some seats are likely to become available at the last minute or so. If you arrive at the Great Hall a bit early and take your chances, you just might be able to get a ticket.

It features: Marc Abrahams / Ig Nobel Prize winners Raghavendra Rau (some business leaders acquire a taste for disasters that do not affect them personally), Thomas Thwaites (living as a goat), Elizabeth Oberzaucher (mathematical analysis of the man who fathered 888 children) / the QI Elves doing dramatic readings from bizarre-seeming research studies / David Kilgour explaining why Britain’s Ministry of Defence is so, um, efficient.

Details of that show and the entire Ig Nobel Spring EuroTour, are on our events page.

Seattle NerdNite talk on the Ig Nobel Prize, March 21st

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

If you will be in Seattle on March 21st then head to the High Dive bar in Fremont to hear Ig Nobel Co-Producer David Kessler give a NerdNite talk: “Onstage & Backstage at The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony”.

Seattle Nerd Nite talk on the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, March 21, 2017

David will try to describe The Ig Nobel Prize and also some of the interesting people and stories behind it.

He will also ask the audience whether anyone in the room meets the strict criteria to join the LFHCfS.

6:30pm Doors open (happy hour)
7:30pm Talks begin
$5 cover charge
High Dive 513 N 36th Street, Seattle

NerdNite talks delve into interesting topics in venues that also serve alcohol:

“We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 90 cities across the globe during which several folks give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines nerd nite logo– while the audience drinks along.”

NOTE: If you cannot attend this event because you will be in Europe, you might be interested to hear Ig founder Marc Abrahams presenting that same week in England, Norway, and Sweden (and later in Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, and Scotland)

If you would like to see a video of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony (paper airplanes and all) you can find one – the 2016 ceremony – immediately below, and many more in the Improbable Research YouTube Channel.

Ig Nobel Spring EuroTour: The Schedule

Friday, March 10th, 2017

This year’s Ig Nobel Spring Eurotour is near upon us:

EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland — March 21
UNIVERSITY OF OSLO, Norway — March 24
STOCKHOLM UNIVERSITY, Stockholm, Sweden — March 27
KAROLINSKA INSTITUTE, Stockholm, Sweden — March 27
FRI TANKE FÖRLAG, Stockholm, Sweden — March 27
ORF (television), Vienna, Austria — March 28
UNIVERSITY OF GRAZ, Austria — March 29
EDINBURGH, Scotland. Details TBA.

Shows will feature MARC ABRAHAMS (founder of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony) and different combinations of these Ig Nobel Prize winners:

  • MINNA LYONS (psychopaths and night owls)
  • KADER ALLOUNI (using speed bumps to diagnose appendicitis)
  • ELIZABETH OBERZAUCHER (mathematical analysis of the man who fathered 888 children)
  • RAGHAVENDRA RAU (some business leaders acquire a taste for disasters that do not affect them personally)
  • THOMAS THWAITES (living as a goat)
  • LUDWIG HUBER (absence of contagious yawning in tortoises)
  • ALESSANDRO PLUCHINO, ANDREA RAPISARDA, CESARE GAROFALO (organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random)
  • HYNEK BURDA (defecating dogs align their body axis with Earth’s north-south geomagnetic field lines)
  • NADIA DOMINICI (walking on water, on the moon)
  • KEES MOELIKER (homosexual necrophilia in the mallard duck)
  • PIERS BARNES (how many group photos are needed to ensure at least one in which nobody blinks)
  • FREDRIK SJÖBERG (three-volume autobiographical work about the pleasures of collecting flies that are dead, and flies that are not yet dead)
  • LAURENT BÈGUE (people who think they are drunk also think they are attractive)
  • MARINA DE TOMMASO (measuring the relative pain people suffer while looking at an ugly painting, rather than a pretty painting, while being shot [in the hand] by a powerful laser beam)

Additional SURPRISING PERSONS AND THINGS will appear, here and there.

HAIR NOTE: The show at the University of Oslo, on Friday, March 24, will include the public introduction of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) Woman of the Year. [Also: There will be a hair-centric, brief press event earlier that day, in Oslo.]

INCOMPETENCE NOTE: The tour will feature tributes to the Ig Nobel Prize-winning (in the year 2000) study of the Dunning-Kruger effect. That study is called “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.”

LIVECAST: The Stockholm University show will be livecast.

DETAILS (which will be updated if/as details change) are on the Improbable Research events page.

UPDATE: Here are highlight reels from the show at the University of Graz and the show at the University of Stockholm:

The Scottish Wasabi Fire Alarm

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

The National Museum of Scotland includes in its vast collection this item, number T.2012.28:


Fire alarm for waking deaf people by nasal irritation with synthesized wasabi, awarded 2011 Ig Nobel prize in chemistry, designed by Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi and Junichi Murakami, Japan, 2012

Inventor Makoto Imai himself donated this item to the museum, in Edinburgh, during the 2012 Ig Nobel EuroTour.