Ig Nobel Prize Tour of the UK and Ireland 2004


The London Show

on the 2004 Ig™ Nobel Tour of the UK and Ireland

Faces in the crowd.

WHEN/WHERE: March 18, 2004, Institution of Electrical Engineers, Savoy Place, London

MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Marc Abrahams (organizer of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research).

IG NOBEL WINNERS: Several Ig Nobel Prize-winners gave five-minute talks/demonstrations and took questions. Among them: Chris Frith, Harold Hillman, Pek Van Andel, Chris McManus and Kees Moeliker. (See below for a brief description of what each did to win an Ig; for more detail, click here.)

Ig winner Kees Moelicker took a cool, hard look at the behavior of mallard ducks. (Photo: Times Higher Education Supplement)

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: The event included a performance of the Ig Nobel mini-opera"Atom and Eve," starring Sandra Lawrence, Dan Gillingwater and Sarah Redmond.

Two members of the audience assisted in demonstrating the power of a Bow-Lingual (not visible in this photo). Bow-Lingual is the automatic dog-language-to-human-language translation device that was honored with the 2002 Ig Nobel Peace Prize.

COMPETITIONS: There were two competitions (for details click here):

  • Science Limerick Contest (the winner received a free trip for two to the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard!).
  • Science-Barnet-of-the-Year Competition (conducted in stylish cooperation with the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists. The winner received a free makover at a posh London Hair Salon!).
  • Competitors in the limerick competition. Lucia Singer (seen here wearing pink, and being acknowledged by the upraised arm of the master of ceremonies) won the prize -- a free trip for two to the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony at Harvard university on September 30. The limerick competition was sponsored by the Times Higher Education Supplement.

    ORGANIZERS: Paula Wallace, Philippa Harris

    Ig winner Pek Van Andel gives insights into an MRI picture of a couple's sexual organs taken while those sexual organs were in use.

    PHOTOS: The photographs shown here were taken by Ig Nobel winner Kees Moeliker (except the photo of Kees Moeliker, which was taken by the Times Higher Education Supplement)

    Faces in the crowd.

    SPONSORED BY: The Times Higher Education Supplement and The British Association for the Advancement of Science.

    Master of Ceremonies Marc Abrahams. The small box next to him contains a Bow-Lingual.

    IIg Nobel winner Chris McManus explains the intricacies of scrotal asymmetry in man and in ancient sculpture.

    Dan Gillingwater and Sarah Redmond perform Act 1 of the nano-opera "Atom and Eve.".

    Ig Nobel Peace Prize winner Harold Hillman plumbs the topic that won him his Ig: "The possible pain experienced during execution by various methods." During his five-minute talk, Professor Hillman also gave a brief tour de force elucidation of other subjects, of which the illustration behind him is but one example.

    Two finalists go hair-to-hair in the Science Barnet of the Year competition. The competition was organized, to a degree, by the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS).

    Ig Nobel winner Chris Frith explains how he and his colleagues discovered that the brains of London taxi drivers are more highly developed than those of their fellow citizens.

    Sandra Lawrence and Sarah Redmond, in the thrilling little finale to the nano-opera.

    2004 Ig Nobel U.K. / Ireland Tour Events

  • Thu 11th March, OXFORD: Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Clarendon Laboratory, OXFORD UNIVERSITY, 8:00 PM
  • Fri 12th March, NOTTINGHAM: John Clare Lecture Theatre 6, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane (A453), NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY, 7:00 PM
  • Sat 13th March, BELFAST: W5@Odyssey 2 Queen's Quay, 3:00 PM
  • Sun 14th March, DUBLIN: Royal Dublin Society, Ballsbridge, 3:00 PM
  • Mon 15th March, GLASGOW: Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, 232-242 St Vincent Street, 7:00 PM
  • Tue 16th March, EXETER: Parker Moot Room, Amory Building, EXETER UNIVERSITY, 7:00 PM
  • Wed 17th March, MANCHESTER: Staff House Lounge, Refectory Building, Burlington Street (off Oxford Road), UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, 7:30 PM
  • Thu 18th March, LONDON: Institute of Electrical Engineers, Savoy Place, 6:30 PM
  • Mon 22nd March, WARRINGTON, CHESHIRE: CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory, Keckwick Lane, Daresbury, nr Warrington, 7:00 PM

  • Winners on the Tour

    Here are some of the Ig Nobel Prize winners who appeared at one or more Tour events.

  • Charles Deeming (Biology Prize 2002), Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain
  • Chris Frith, (Medicine Prize, 2003), The Impressive Brains of London Taxi Drivers
  • David Gadian (Medicine Prize, 2003), The Impressive Brains of London Taxi Drivers
  • Andrey Geim (Physics Prize, 2000), Using Magnets to Levitate a Frog
  • Harold Hillman (Peace Prize, 1997), The Possible Pain Experienced During Execution by Different Methods
  • Chris McManus (Medicine Prize 2002), Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture
  • Kees Moeliker (Biology Prize, 2003), The First Scientifically Recorded Case of Homosexual Necrophilia in the Mallard Duck
  • Charles Paxton (Biology Prize 2002), Courtship Behaviour of Ostriches Towards Humans Under Farming Conditions in Britain
  • Karl Schwärzler (Economics Prize, 2003), How to Rent the Entire Country of Liechtenstein for Corporate Conventions, Weddings, and Bar Mitzvahs
  • Pek Van Andel (Medicine Prize, 2000), Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal

    For more details about any of them, see the list of all Ig Nobel Prize Winners