Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony 2015

The 25th First Annual 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 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Thursday, September 17, 2015, 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 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners - Each has done something that makes people laugh then think.

Winners traveled 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. Additional info will appear in the Improbable Research blog.

Live Webcast & Tweeting

(We've been webcasting since 1995!)

ARCHIVED WEBCAST: On Thursday Sept. 17 (East Coast USA time), you could have come here and clicked on the box immediately below to watch the ceremony live! The archived video of the ceremony is now available in its place.

LIVE TWEETING: A keen official observer live-tweeted the ceremony, as did many of the 1100 audience members in Sanders Theatre:

@ImprobResearch, and #IgNobel

Video Teaser

Enjoy this promotional video for the 2015 ceremony (and enjoy some previews: Scientific American, Boston Magazine, New York Times, 20Minutes; Popular Science; Teknisk Ukeblad; Live Science; ANSA; Science; Inverse):

TICKETS to attend the ceremony are sold out.
A few tickets might become available shortly before the ceremony. If so, they will be sold exclusively by the Harvard Box Office

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 recognized in this way, first obtain tickets, then register with Louise Sacco, Official Overseer of the Delegations (phone: 781-690-6621, email: LouiseSacco AT gmail.com). The deadline for registering as a delegation is a week before the ceremony.

Downloadable Poster & Program

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2015 Ceremony's Spiffy Poster and IgBill (program), identical to the ones we print for the ceremony.

2015 Ig Nobel ceremony poster 2015 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 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think:
Microsoft Research
Redbones CS50 Pepper Hamilton
Toscanini's Museum of Bad Art Bova Bakery
Harvard Natural Sciences Lecture Demonstrations

Ceremony Details

This 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will include many improbable things:

    Nobel Laureates attending the 2015 Ig Nobel
    Prize Ceremony

  • The theme of this year's ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) is LIFE.
  • Pre-Pre-Ceremony Concert, in the transept (lobby): The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble (BSE): Thomas Michel, Colin Ferguson, Patrick Yacono, Betty Widersky, David Brancazio, Rebecca Cooper, Jooyeon June, Koo Sari Kalin
  • Pre-ceremony concert, on stage: Ig Nobel Majordomo Gary Dryfoos will sing songs from past Ig Nobel Operas
  • Two Moments of Science, by performing chemists Daniel Rosenberg, Isabelle Rosenberg, and Michael Skuhersky
  • 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
    This year's 24/7 Lecturers and their topics:
  • Premier of the mini-opera "The Best Life", about a competition to choose the best species of life.
    • music by Giuseppe Verdi and Arthur Sullivan, story and words by Marc Abrahams
    • directed by Maria Ferrante, assisted by Robin Abrahams, costumed by Catherine Quick Spingler
    • starring Maria Ferrante, Scott Taylor, Daniel Rosenberg,
    • with The All-Species Chorus — Delphine Gabbay (chorus wrangler), Erika Hutchinson, Sylvia Rosenberg, Julia Lunetta, Vicki Bloom, Ros (Rosalind) Reid, Natasha Rosenberg, Abby Schiff, Vijaya Sundaram, Rob Hart, Liz Oppenheim, Warren Senders, Ted Sharpe, Nick Carstoiu, et al. The chorus ranks will be swelled, in Act 3 of the opera, by the Nobel laureates.
    • backed by the Concentrated Forces of Nature, a distilled orchestra composed entirely of Harvard Medical School researchers Patrick Yacono and Thomas Michel
  • Ceremonial bows from several returning past Ig Nobel Prize winners — including the Final Appearance of 2005 Ig Nobel Nutrition Prize winner Dr. Nakamats, possibly the world's greatest human being, who will perform the American debut of his swan song. (If somehow you are not familiar with Dr. Nakamats, perhaps you will enjoy this introduction.)
  • 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
  • Salutes to the Audience Delegations
  • The Minordomos (Chris Deter, Eliza Kosoy, Julia Lunetta, Peaco Todd, Sylvia Rosenberg, Natasha Rosenberg, Pooja Usgaonkar) 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
  • Special appearance by Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club (LFHCfS) Woman-of-the-Year Anne Madden
  • The Traditional "Welcome, Welcome" Speech
  • The Traditional "Goodbye, Goodbye" Speech
  • Other wondrous things

The ceremony also celebrates the publication of two 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: [coming soon] 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 19, 2015, 1:00 pm
MIT, building 10, room 250.

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
  • Special appearance by several past Ig Nobel Prize winners — including a special performance by Dr. Nakamats.
  • The Ig Nobel Prize 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. 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).