2005 Ig Nobel Tour of the UK
(The photos below were taken by Ig Nobel Prize winner Kees Moeliker, unless
otherwise noted. Also see some photos
taken by an audience member in Oxford.)
members in Warrington.
WHEN: March, 2005
WHERE: Oxford, Nottingham, Warrington, London, London
WHY: To celebrate National
WHO & WHAT: Marc
Abrahams (organizer of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and editor of the Annals
of Improbable Research) and guests, including:
Ig Nobel Prize winners (and their peers)
-- They explained what they did and (when/where possible) why
Atkins Diet Opera -- Attractive, perfectly-nourished singers
performed the complete mini-opera.
Project Cuppa -- Scientists demonstrated
their rituals for preparing tea and/or coffee
The Luxuriant Flowing
Hair Club for Scientists (LFHCfS) -- appearances by members
and their hair
Abrahams explains the concept of Miss Sweetie Poo -- the eight-year-old
girl who persuades speakers not to exceed their alloted time at the
Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.
Here are several entertaining accounts (many
written by the incomparable Donald MacLeod) that appeared in The Guardian
2005 Ig Nobel Tour," February 11, 2005
of tea, everyone?" March 1, 2005
the Opera, and other ignoble ideas," March 6, 2005
among ducks ruffles research feathers," March 8, 2005
fish fingered," March 11, 2005
rock doves join party with the dead,": March 14, 2005
yawns," March 16, 2005
Greeks balls it up," March 17, 2005
Abrahams' tour diary," March 22, 2005
CO-SPONSORED BY: The
Guardian and the British
Association for the Advancement of Science.
For further info about the tour, see The
Guardian's Ig Tour site and the BA's
Ig Tour site.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS: 2004,
Ig Nobel 2005 UK Tour Events
Friday, 11 March, 8:00 PM
Wood Lecture Theatre, part of the Physics Department (adjacent to the
Clarendon Laboratory on Parks Road at the corner with Keble Road), University
TICKETS: Tickets are free and you can turn up on the night, but MUST book
in advance to guarantee a seat on 0207 019 4963 or email <email@example.com>.
In your email, please provide name, & number of tickets required.
WARRINGTON, CHESHIRE: Monday, 14 March, 7:00 PM
Laboratory, Keckwick Lane, Daresbury, nearr Warrington.
TICKETS: Tickets are free, but please book in advance on 01925 603488 or
Moeliker shows the curious behavior of mallard ducks that he noticed
one day at work. His subsequent writeup of the event has attracted much
attention from the interational science community, and from duck enthusiasts
of many kinds. Photo: Marc Abrahams.
NOTTINGHAM, Tuesday, 15 March, 7:00 PM
John Clare Lecture Theatre 6, Clifton Campus, Clifton Lane (A453),
TICKETS: First come, first serve, pay on the door, £5 or £4.00
students and BA members
LONDON, Wednesday, 16 March, 7:30 PM
Queen's Gate, South Kensington.
LIVE GUARDIAN WEB CHAT, Thursday, 17 March, 3:00 PM (And
you can post questions in advance!)
With Marc Abrahams
LONDON, Thursday, 17 March, 6:30 PM
The Guardian Newsroom.
60 Farringdon Road (directly opposite the main Guardian building at 119
TICKETS: This event is free but places must be booked by calling 020 7019
4938 or emailing <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- National Science Week Launch event, Thursday, 10 March:
(by invitation only)
- And who knows what else...
Winners and Friends on the Tour
Wilson explains how and why he and his colleagues discovered a most
unexpected means by which herrings apparently exchange information.
Here are some of the Ig Nobel Prize winners, and other distinguished persons,
who appeared in one or more of the Tour events. .
ROBERT BATTY (Ig
Nobel Biology Prize winner, 2004). The
discovery that herrings
apparently communicate by farting.
Medicine Prize winner, 2002 and 2003
Aventis Prize winner). Scrotal
Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture
Biology Prize winner, 2003), The First
Scientifically Recorded Case of Homosexual Necrophilia in the Mallard Duck
SEUNTJENS. A comprehensive
study of the Hidden Sexuality of the Human Yawn.
VAN ANDEL (Ig Nobel
Medicine Prize winner, 2000). The first
MRI pictures taken of a couple's sexual organs while those organs were in
Biology Prize winner, 2004). The
discovery that herrings
apparently communicate by farting
Click here for a preview
of half of Kees Moeliker's talk (He will also discuss a new discovery).
Nottingham Trent University immediately following the show, Ig Nobel
Medicine Prize winner Pek Van Andel (right) and a security guard discuss
a fine point of the anatomy of bulls. Dr. Van Andel initiated the
discussion by walking into the guard's office, handing him the objects
visible here (in the guard's hand), and saying "I bet you don't
know what these are." Photo: Marc Abrahams.
Project Cuppa is our attempt to collect the best scientists' best rituals
for preparing tea or coffee.
If you want to (and can) demonstrate your Project Cuppa entry on stage
at one of the Ig-Nobel-Tour-of-the-UK events, here's what to do.
Please bring yourself, your favorite teacup or coffee cup, and any other
props you might need (you may not need any, as we will provide a blackboard
and chalk). Show up a good 30 minutes before the start of the show.
If there are too many Project Cuppa demonstrators at any one show, we will
make a virtue of it. In such case, we will choose a small number to do demos,
and invite everyone else to invite each other out for a cuppa.
Click here for a preview
of Project Cuppa.
performance of "The Atkins Diet Opera" at the Guardian Newsroom, in
Van Andel explaining,with brio, how and why his team in Groningen took
the first MRI pictures of a couple's reproductive organs while those
organs were in use.
Nobel Medicine Prize winner Chris McManus demonstrates his personal
coffee preparation ritual.He then explained, but did not fully demonstrate,
the scrotal asymmetry work (comparing that phenomenon in man and ancient
sculpture) that won him an Ig.
Nobel Biology Prize winner Bob Batty elucidates the beauty and wonder
-- especially the wonder -- of herring communication.
Seuntjens spent two decades completing his Ph.D. thesis about the erotic
aspects of yawning.