About the 2001 Ig™ Nobel Prize Ceremony, and related events

==> The Ceremony
==> Related Event: The Ig Informal Lectures

The 2001 Ig™ Nobel Prize Ceremony

For full details and lots of photos, see the special Ig Nobel issue (Jan/Feb 2002) of the Annals of Improbable Research.

WHEN & WHERE: The 11th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony was held on Thursday evening, October 4, 2001, at Harvard University's Sanders Theater.

WHAT: Ten new Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded. Seven of the ten winners traveled to the ceremony at their own expense, and two others sent taped acceptance speeches. The prizes were handed to them by a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, all before a standig room only audience of 1200 people.

TELECAST AND RADIO: The ceremony was telecast live on the Internet, and recorded for later viewing on the net. It was also audio-recorded for broadcast, on the day after Thanksgiving, on NPR's "Talk of the Nation/ Science Friday with Ira Flatow" program.

Click below to see recorded video of the entire event on YouTube.

THEME: Every year, the ceremony has a new theme. (The theme pertains to some of the goings-on at the ceremony, though not necessarily to any of the year's prize-winning achievements). This year's theme was COMPLEXITY.

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: In addition to the awarding of the Prizes, the ceremony was be jam-packed with a variety of momentously inconsequential (and one most consequential!) events. Chief among them:

  • A genuine wedding ceremony lasting 60 (sixty) seconds.*
  • The 24/7 Seminars, in which several of the world's top thinkers each explained their subject twice:
    A) a complete technical description in TWENTY-FOUR (24) SECONDS*; and THEN
    B) a clear summary that anyone can understand, in SEVEN (7) WORDS.
  • "The Wedding Complex" -- a new mini-opera about scientists planning a wedding scientifically, which culminated in an actual wedding -- starring:
  • Margot Button
  • Deidre Allyson
  • Jim Jordan
  • Adrienne Shelton
  • Jane Tankersley
  • The Nobel Laureates
  • The Nobel Laureates who handed out the Ig Nobel Prizes and co-starred in the opera:
  • Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry,1986
  • William Lipscomb, Nobel Laureate in Chemstry, 1976
  • Richard Roberts, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine,1993
  • Robert Wilson, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1978
  • ...and others who appeared electronically
  • Appearances by past Ig winners.
  • The Win-a-Date-With-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest (The Prize was Dudley Herschbach).
    (The date will be at Redbones, the famous ribs joint in Davis Square, Somerville.)
  • Gala Introduction of the Audience Delegations
  • The Tradidional "Welcome, Welcome" Speech
  • The Traditional "Goodby, Goodbye" Speech
  • Other wondrous things.

* Time limits were enforced by Mr. John Barrett, the Ig Nobel Referee

Ig-Related Event 2001

Two days after the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, there was a related event:

The IG INFORMAL LECTURES were held at MIT room 26-100 on Saturday, October 6, 1 pm.

A half-afternoon of improbably funny, informative, brief (10-15 minutes each), high-spirited public lectures:

  • David Jones (Nature magazine's "Daedalus") delighted and confounded everyone and everything.

  • The 2001 Ig Nobel Prize winners in the fields of
    Biology, Medicine, Public Health, Economics, and Peace
    attempted to explain why they did what they did.
This free event was organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore.