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.

Live Webcast

The ceremony will be webcast live, HERE, ON THIS PAGE (in place of the grey box just below these words)

Refresh your browser
on Thursday, September 18th
and this space will be replaced
by our live broadcast

  • 5:40pm (US Eastern Time) Webcast begins, Pre-Ceremony concert
  • 6:00pm (US Eastern Time) The ceremony proper begins

LIVE TWEETING: James Harkin (QI's head elf) and Polina Harkin will be live-tweeting from the stage, at @ImprobResearch. Audience members will be live tweeting with hashtag #IgNobel.

In the meantime, feel free to tide yourself over with this brief video 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); Ghent (Belgium); Raleigh, North Carolina (USA); San Francisco, California (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.)

A few ceremony tickets are available (these are ticket we had been holding in reserve for emergency needs — and have now released for sale). They are 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.
Please enter your E-mail address here:  

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.

Downloadable Poster & Program

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2014 Ceremony's Spiffy Poster and IgBill (program), 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 2014 Ig Nobel ceremony IgBill

We announce our biggest supporters on stage during the internationally broadcast prize ceremony. All supporters are thanked here on the website and/or 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:
CS50 Microsoft Research
Redbones Museum of Bad Art Pepper Hamilton
Toscanini's Folkmanis Puppets Soylent Soylent

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.
  • A trailer for "The Invention of Dr. Nakamats", a documentary on the improbable career of our keynote speaker.

  • 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 explains 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
    • Martin Chalfie (Nobel laureate, chemistry): BIOLUMINESCENCE
    • Carol Greider (Nobel laureate, physiology or medicine). Topic: TELOMERES
    • Eric Maskin (Nobel laureate, economics): INCOME INEQUALITY
    • Rob Rhinehart (founder, Soylent). Topic: METABOLISM
    • Corky White (Professor of Anthropology, Boston University). Topic: FOOD
    • and maybe one or two others to be announced
  • Premier of the Mini-Opera "What's Eating You", about people who stop eating food, and instead nourish themselves exclusively with pills.
  • 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
  • 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)

This Is Improbable Too Ig Nobel Cookbook vol.1

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

Who's Who: Click on the photo array to see many of the ceremony organizers and participants

If You Are Coming to Sanders Theatre...

WHERE: If you are walking, driving, T-ing, biking, or running to Sanders Theatre, you may want some directions. Here are: (1) a map and directions; and (2) the secret of how to pahk your cah near Hahvud Yahd.

WHAT TO WEAR: We suggest you wear clothing. Clothing that is, like you, colorful. People like yourself (or in some cases, very unlike yourself) in distant places, watching the broadcast and seeing occasional glimpses of the Sanders Theatre audience, will thrill to the panoply of colors, styles, and improbable accoutrements. This is the night to unearth your old wedding gown, uniform, suit of armor, labcoat or longjohns.

WHAT TO BRING: Paper, paper, paper. Paper to make into paper airplanes. Additional paper to give to those around you who may have forgotten to bring their own paper, and who as a consequence of their own neglect are forlornly wishing they could join in the thrill and intellectual romance of making and throwing paper airplanes. SAFETY FIRST, please! Paper airplanes should only be thrown at the safety-equipment-laden individual onstage who is the Designated Paper Airplane Target. Paper airplanes may only be made of paper.

NOTE: There will be two (2) designated Paper Airplane Deluge periods, one at the very start of the ceremony, the other at the ceremony's midpoint.


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 Ig informal Lectures are a free event, organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore. Seating is limited, so we suggest you arrive a bit early.

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

Special Thanks To...

All Ig Nobel Prize 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).