Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

Memoirs of an Ig Nobel volunteer

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Neil Gussman, who helps maintain a proper level of apparently-incipient-chaos at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, marshaled some of his thoughts about it:

…My first volunteer job with the Ig Nobel was ushering at the Ig Nobel ceremony at the AAAS meeting beginning in 2006.  However, after I returned from Iraq in 2010, Marc added me to the volunteer staff in Cambridge as a press wrangler. Each year I escort reporters in and out of the ceremony. Because of copyright and legal restrictions, broadcast reporters are limited in how much time they can record.  My particular job is to escort the reporter and cameraman from Channel One (ПервыйКанал) in Russia.  Camera crews from many countries have filmed the Ig Nobel ceremony over the years, but Channel One Russia and NHK Japan have been there every year since I have been a volunteer.

This year, for the first time…

Celebrating Professor Arnold’s Further and Future Adventures

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

I have to say I feel pretty tickled (and yes, honored) by the final minute of this Science Friday interview with new Nobel Chemistry Prize winner Frances Arnold.

After hearing the interview, I of course got in touch with Professor Arnold, inviting her to take part in next year’s (2019) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. She replied: “marc, wonderful!  Can’t promise to come, since my life is a tornado and I am a leaf, but it is high on my list!”

The Nobel committee honored Professor Arnold specifically for her research on “the directed evolution of enzymes.” Many thanks to Ira Flatow and Charles Bergquist at Science Friday, for helping engineer the new bit of directed social/ceremonial evolution.

Ig Nobel event TONIGHT—Ishikawa Prefectural University

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

The Ig Nobel Japan Tour has its final event tonight, with an event at Ishikawa Prefectural University on Thursday, September 27.

  • WHERE: Ishikawa Prefectural University, Hokkoku Shimbun Interchange Hall (2-1 Minami-cho, Kanazawa City).
  • WHEN: 17:30

Marc Abrahams and Ig Nobel Prize winners Yukio Hirose, and Hidehiko Kumagai (who is also president of the university) & Shinsuke Imai will discuss the Igs, and answer (and ask) questions. Paper airplanes will fly.

The Ig Nobel Japan Tour

This is, as noted above, the final event of Ig Nobel Japan Tour. The tour celebrates the opening (which happened a few days ago) of the Ig Nobel Prizes Exhibition, in the Tokyo Dome Complex.

The exhibition is open to the public September 22-November 4, 2018.

The Duck Guy discusses the new Ig Nobel Prize winners (in Dutch)

Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

Kees Moeliker discusses the new Ig Nobel Prize winners, in this video interview.

The interview happens in Natuurhistorisch Museum, of which Kees is the director. The museum is also the home of one of the ducks involved in the famous incident documented in described in Kees’s scientific study “The First Case of Homosexual Necrophilia in the Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Aves: Anatidae)” C.W. Moeliker, Deinsea, vol. 8, 2001, pp. 243-7. That study earned Kees the 2003 Ig Nobel Prize for biology.

Kees also serves as Improbable Research‘s European Bureau Chief.

Ig Nobel event—with Two/Too Lectures!—at Hokkaido U

Monday, September 24th, 2018

The Ig Nobel Japan Tour continues, with an event at Hokkaido University on Wednesday, September 26.

Marc Abrahams and Ig Nobel Prize winners — Prof. Toshiyuki Nakagaki (winner of two Ig Nobel Prizes, for discovering that slime mold can solve puzzles and that slime mold is more efficient than human engineers at designing railway routes), and Prof. Kazunori Yoshizawa (winner for discovering a female penis and a male vagina, in a cave insect) — will discuss the Ig Nobel Prizes. They will also answer (and ask) questions. Paper airplanes will fly.

A new experiment: The Two/Too Lectures

Professor Nakagaki and Professor Yoshizawa will also become the first people to try a new kind of Improbable Research public activity. Each will present a Two/Too Lecture.

In a Two-Too Lecture, the lecturer explains their research in just two (2) minutes — and then explains the same thing again, in two (2) minutes, but using a completely different metaphor.

The/Too This Lectures are a new descendant of the 24/7 Lectures that have long been a featured part of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. You can think of each of these — the 24/7 Lectures and the Two/Too Lectures — as new kinds of science communication. Indeed, they are new forms of public communication. Each is designed to make people LAUGH, then THINK.

The Ig Nobel Japan Tour

The Ig Nobel Japan Tour celebrates the opening (which happened a few days ago) of the Ig Nobel Prizes Exhibition, in the Tokyo Dome Complex. The exhibition is open to the public September 22-November 4, 2018.

The final event of the Ig Nobel Japan Tour will happen at the University of Kanazawa, on Friday.

UPDATE (written several days after the event):

Ig Nobel Prize founder visits Hokkaido University for special discussion event

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