The 29th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony

Thursday, September 12, 2019, *6:00 pm
Sanders Theater, Harvard University

The 29th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will introduce the new Ig Nobel Prize winners – Each did something that makes people laugh then think.

Winners will travel to the ceremony, at their own expense, from around the world. Each will receive their prize from a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, in Harvard’s historic and largest theater. (For occasional updates, see the Improbable Research blog.)


TICKETS for the 2019 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will go on sale on WEDNESDAY, JULY 10, at NOON (U.S. eastern time) from the Harvard Box Office
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Official Delegations

Several groups of five (5) or more persons attending the Ig Nobel prize ceremony were officially recognized during the ceremony as Official Delegations. If you would like your group recognized in this way at a future 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.


WEBCAST: The ceremony will begin at  5:35 pm. (Historical note: We’ve been webcasting the Ig Nobel ceremony every year since 1995!) Here’s a recording of last year’s (2018) webcast:

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Downloadable Poster, Bookmark, & Program

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2019 Ceremony’s spiffy poster, and bookmark, and IgBill [COMING SOON!], identical to the ones we print for the ceremony.

Downloadable 2019 Ig Nobel BOOKMARK


Contact us to discuss becoming a financial supporter of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.

FIGS (Friends of the Ig) — Generous supporters of the 2018 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think!

Ceremony Details

This 29th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will include many improbable things:

Nobel Laureates attending the 2018 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony

    • THE THEME of the 2019 ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) is: HABITS.
    • PRE-PRE-CEREMONY TRANSEPT CONCERT in the transept (lobby) by The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble (BSE), directed by Dr. Thomas Michel: “Themes from the new opera ‘Creatures of Habit'”
    • PRE-CEREMONY CONCERT in the theater proper
  • THE 24/7 LECTURES, in which several of the world’s top thinkers each explain 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.

    Lecturers: TBA.
  • PREMIERE OF THE MINI-OPERA “Creatures of Habit” (THE PLOT: A visit to the Museum of Bad Habits, which explores an old question. Why do people who persistently do bad things keep on doing those bad things? Because they MUST—or because they CAN?)
    • Music by Johan Sebastian Bach, Franz Schubert, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Alice Shirrell Kaswell
    • Story and words by Marc Abrahams.
    • Directed by Maria Ferrante
    • Singers: Maria Ferrante, Jan Hadlund, John Jarcho, Abigail Jarcho, Jean Cummings, Dakota McCoy, Scott Taylor, Fred Tsai, Andrew Ross, Lisa Ferretti, Ellen Duffy-Friend, Ted Sharpe, Kristen Connolly, Karen Pryor, et al.
    • Musicians: Yulia Yun (piano), Dr. Thomas Michel (accordion), Dr. Bruce Koplan (bass), Dr. Julie Riemann (cello)
  • CEREMONIAL BOWS from returning past Ig Nobel Prize winners
  • SALUTES to the Audience Delegations
  • Karen Hopkin, creator of the Studmuffins of Science Calendar
  • The Minordomos, who visibly made things run smoothly on stage
  • The Human Curtain Rods, who held aloft the sacred curtain through which the winners entered
  • The PAPER AIRPLANE DELUGES (2 of them)
  • The Human Spotlights, who illuminated the proceedings
  • Eight-year-old “Miss Sweetie-Poo“, who encouraged speakers to keep their speeches brief
  • Jean Berko Gleason: The Traditional “Welcome, Welcome” Speech
  • Jean Berko Gleason: The Traditional “Goodbye, Goodbye” Speech
  • AND other wondrous things

The ceremony still celebrates the publication of two booksThis 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 this 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)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, like you, is 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 14, 2019, 1:00 pm
MIT (building and room TBA)

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

  • The new Ig Nobel Prize winners attempted to explain what they did, and why they did it.
  • Past winners returned, to share their adventures
  • Winners were available for audience members to chat with, both before and after the lectures.

The Ig informal Lectures are a free event, organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore. Here’s a recording of last year’s (2018) Ig Informal Lectures:

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).

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