The 2014 Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures

All speeches will be kept delightfully brief, thanks in part to eight-year-old Miss Sweetie Poo. This short video shows highlights of various Miss Sweetie Poos at previous ceremonies.

The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Thursday, September 18 at 6:00 pm*
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
(twitter: #IgNobel)

*Pre-ceremony concert —and the webcast —begin at 5:40 pm (US Eastern Time)
  The ceremony proper begins at 6:00 pm

The 24th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will introduce ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners - Each has done something that makes people laugh then think.

Winners travel to the ceremony, at their own expense, from around the world to receive their prize from a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, in Harvard's historic and largest theater. 1100 improbable persons fill the theatre, and the whole affair is broadcast live.

The Ceremony will include many other delights - Stay tuned here AND to the Improbable Research Blog.


The ceremony will be webcast live. We will post details here, soon.

In the meantime, feel free to tide yourself over with this brief teaser.

Ig Nobel-watching parties will happen in many places. Please feel free to organize your own party. If you would like to invite the public, please send us details, and we will add it to this list: Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

(Two days after the ceremony, the third annual gala event at a theater in Leiden, The Netherlands will feature live performances — including the presence of one of the new, 2014 Ig Nobel Prize winners — and a big-screen projection of the recorded Ig Nobel Prize ceremony.)

Tickets for Sanders Theater are sold out. There's a chance that a very few seats will become available shortly before the ceremony. If that happens, we will announce it via the @ImprobResearch twitter stream and on the Improbable Research Facebook page. Those tickets would be available exclusively from the Harvard Box Office, online and at Holyoke Center.

Stay informed about upcoming Ig Nobel events by joining our private E-mail list.
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Official Delegations
Groups of five (5) or more persons attending the Ig Nobel prize ceremony can be officially recognized during the ceremony as Official Delegations. If you would like your group regonized in this way at a future Ig Nobel prize ceremony, first obtain tickets, then register with Louise Sacco, Official Overseer of the Delegations (phone: 781-690-6621, email: LouiseSacco AT The deadline for registering as a delegation is a week before the ceremony.

We announce our biggest supporters on stage during the internationally broadcast prize ceremony. All supporters are thanked with their logo on the ceremony website and in the IgBill (program).  Past supporters include corporations, laboratories, and local business
Contact us to discuss becoming a supporter of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony

FIGS (Friends of the Ig) — Generous supporters of the 2014 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think:
(your logo/link here) Microsoft Research
Redbones CS50
Toscanini's Museum of Bad Art

Ceremony Details

Each year's ceremony includes many improbable things, an increasing number of which will be mentioned here as the ceremony date approaches.

  • Ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners, announced and introduced
    The winners physically receive their prizes, and a handshake, from these genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel laureates:

    1. Nobel Laureates attending the 2014 Ig Nobel
    Prize Ceremony

  • The theme of this year's ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) is FOOD.
  • Keynote Address, on Food, by Dr. Yoshiro Nakamats, who was awarded the 2005 Ig Nobel Prize for nutrition, for photographing and retrospectively analyzing every meal he consumed during a period of 34 (now, in 2014, 43) years.
  • Pre-Ceremony Mozart-Foodie-Concert, first in the transept (lobby), then on stage: The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble (BSE): Thomas Michel, Colin Ferguson, Patrick Yacono, Ted Sharpe, Betty Widersky
  • Two Moments of Science, by performing chemists Daniel Rosenberg and Joost Bonsen
  • The 24/7 LECTURES, in which several of the world's top thinkers each explained her or his subject twice:
      FIRST : a complete technical description in TWENTY-FOUR (24) SECONDS**
      AND THEN: a clear summary that anyone can understand, in SEVEN (7) WORDS
    • Corky White (Professor of Anthropology, Boston University). Topic: FOOD
    • Eric Maskin (Nobel laureate, economics): ECONOMICS
    • Carol Greider (Nobel laureate, physiology or medicine). Topic: TELOMERES
    • and others to be announced
  • Premier of the Mini-Opera "What's Eating You", about a couple who stop eating food, and nourish themselves exclusively with pills — and about what happens after that.
  • Ceremonial music by Nicholas Carstoiu and The Ig Leaves
  • Karen Hopkin, creator of the Studmuffins of Science Calendar
  • The Win-a-Date-With-a-Nobel-Laureate Contest
  • The Win-a-Date-With-Dr.-Nakamats Contest
  • Salutes to the Audience Delegations
  • The Minordomos will make most things on stage run smoothly
  • Two grand Paper Airplane Deluges
  • Speeches will be kept brief thanks to eight-year-old Ms. Sweetie-Poo
  • Offensive words, sounds, thoughts, or imaginings will be reviewed and possibly blocked by the V-Chip Monitor, prominent New York Attorney William J. Malone
  • The Traditional "Welcome, Welcome" Speech
  • The Traditional "Goodbye, Goodbye" Speech
  • Other wondrous things

The ceremony also celebrates the publication of two new books: This Is Improbable Too, and The Ig Nobel Cookbook (volume 1)

** Time limits will be enforced by the the referee, Mr. John Barrett

Downloadable Poster

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2014 Ceremony's Spiffy Poster, identical to the ones we print for the ceremony. The poster in particular is a great way to increase Ig Nobel and universal awareness among friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and complete strangers.

2014 Ig Nobel ceremony poster

The Ig Informal Lectures
Saturday, Sep 20, 2014, 1:00 pm
MIT, Building 26, Room 100

A half-afternoon of improbably funny, informative, informal, brief public lectures and demonstrations:

  • The new Ig Nobel Prize winners will attempt to explain what they did, and why they did it
  • The new winners will be available for you to talk with, both before and after the lectures

The Ig informal Lectures are a free event, organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore.

(What happens at the Ig Informal Lectures? Here's a spectator's report from last year, 2013.)


Special Thanks To...

All Ig Nobel Prizes activities are organized by the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). The ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association (HRSFA), and the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students (SPS).