Improbable Research is collaborating with Paris-based FL Concepts in making the documentary series Quand La Science Fait Rire, premiering on the France 5 public TV network. The series will be seen in other languages in other countries.
The same team will — beginning in 2013 — broadcast the annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony live on TV networks worldwide.
Improbable Research and FL Concepts are also collaborating on other television projects, which will appear in... the future.
(Earlier, Improbable Research produced a series of little experiments: the Improbable web series. Details of that early series are on this page, below.)
A Look Back at an Improbable Promo
Improbable Research, independently, made a web-based Improbable TV series of tiny bits-and-pieces videos. It's all about research that makes people laugh, then makes them think. Here, below, is a skimpy guide to those little videos. We might make some more.
Get notified whenever there's a new episode. Subscribe to the Improbable Research channel on YouTube. It's free.
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What are these things?
These are experiments that we hope will lead you — and us — to interesting places. Most are three-minute videos about research that makes people laugh, then makes them think. Each episode is composed of one or several bits and people from the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, from Ig Nobel Prize lectures and ceremonies and other live events, and from many other sources. We have been collecting this material for almost twenty years.
CONTENT: Mostly, it's about science, technology, and medicine. And people.
FORMAT: In some episodes, the format is, roughly speaking, similar to Monty Python. But the content is all real. An episode may be about one idea. Or it may have several different threads, which may or may not be related. Some threads, and some people, recur in later episodes; some don't.
What's the point?There are two goals — to make people laugh, and to get them curious about all kinds of things they might otherwise overlook.
What's the range of topics?All branches of science, technology, medicine, history, language, art, and lots more.
What can I expect in a typical episode?This, that, and bits of anything. Take a look.
Why does each episode tell only part of a story (or parts of several stories)?
These videos make people wonder about all sorts of bizarre things. In the tradition of Perils of Pauline, they often leave you hanging at a most intriguing moment. So... how can you learn what happens to the people and topics in a particular episode? Through the magic of the Internet, of course. For each episode, we provide a small number of links to these people and topics. (Why a small number? The better, we hope, to entice you, rather than overwhelm you.)
Who makes these things?The Improbable Research people — the same people who produce the magazine, the annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, the web site (and blog), the monthly newsletter mini-AIR and the weekly Improbable Research newspaper column.
Who's in the episodes?Lots of scientists, of many ages, of at least two sexes, from many countries. Some are famous, many are not. There are also journalists, children, just plain people, and now and again some singers and musicians. And Mel.
Is it all brand new material?Some is new, and some is old stuff that's been seldom seen or even heard of. All of it is surprising and (we hope) hard to stop thinking about.
Is it okay to make copies?
Yes. These episodes have a Creative Commons license (Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives) [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/]. We encourage you to make and distribute copies.
How can I get more info about an episode?The improbable.com web site has links, for each episode, about the people and things in that episode. We encourage the special sites to provide links (either these or others of their choosing), too.
How can I subscribe?If you're familiar with RSS feeds, you can subscribe to ours here. This will not only give you all the Improbable TV you're looking for, but also, all the other Improbable blog content.
If you'd prefer to just receive notifications of new episodes, you can subscribe to our channel on YouTube. Just go to http://youtube.com/ImprobableResearch and click the yellow "Subscribe" button on the left side of the page. If you don't already have a free YouTube account, you'll need to sign up for one first.