The 29th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony

Thursday, September 12, 2019, *6:00 pm
(*Pre-Ceremony events – and webcast – begin at 5:35 pm US Eastern Time)
at Sanders Theatre, Harvard University

The Index:

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 pre-ceremony news updates, see the Improbable Research blog.)


TICKETS for the 2019 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony are available exclusively from the
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Official Delegations

If you would like your group of five (5) or more ceremony attendees to be recognized as an Official Delegation, 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 Wednesday, September 4th, 2019.

Webcast & Social Media-ing

WEBCAST: The Live webcast of ceremony will begin at  5:35 pm. on September 12th and will appear here on this page – and perhaps on other pages as well.

Here’s a recording of last year’s (2018) webcast:

@ImprobResearch, and #IgNobelTwitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.
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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!
Harvard Extension School Harvard CS-50 Toscanini’s Ice Cream
Nelson Mullins, LLP Redbones Atlas Wines & Liquors
The Museum of Bad Art The Ig Glorious Ticket-buyers

Ceremony Details

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

  • THE THEME of the 2019 ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) is: HABITS. If you come to the ceremony, please feel free to display your own habits, and discuss them with the people you meet (but please do not hurt anyone!).
  • 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 SHOWING-OFF-OF-HABITS in the lobby, and in the theater.
  • 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, et al.
    • Story and words by Marc Abrahams.
    • Directed by Maria Ferrante
    • Singers: Maria Ferrante and The Behavioral Quirk ChorusJan Hadlund, John Jarcho, Abigail Jarcho, Jean Cummings, Marsha Warren, Dakota McCoy, Fred Tsai, Andrew Ross, Lisa Ferretti, Ted Sharpe, Kristen Connolly, Karen Pryor, Lizhou Sha, Sonya Taafe, Patty Bianchet, Barbara Allen Hill, Lorenzo Fabbri, Bethany Brookshire, George Bibler, et al., assisted non-vocally in act 4 by the Nobel laureates
    • The Habitual Enthusiasm OrchestraYulia Yun (piano), Dr. Thomas Michel (accordion), Dr. Bruce Koplan (bass), Dr. Julie Reimann (cello), Lizhou Sha (violin)
    • Special clicker training operatic appearance by Karen Pryor
  • CEREMONIAL BOWS from returning past Ig Nobel Prize winners:
    • Javier Morales (chemistry, 2009: making diamonds from tequila)
    • Deborah Anderson (chemistry, 2008: Coca-Cola as a spermicide)
    • Kazutaka Kurihawa and Koji Tsukada (acoustics, 2012: a machine that disrupts talking)
    • David Hu and Patricia Yang (physics 2015: urination duration in mammals)
    • and perhaps others.
  • SALUTES to the Audience Delegations
  • Karen Hopkin, creator of the Studmuffins of Science Calendar
  • The Minordomos (Chris Deter, Roksi Freeman, Emma Liddell, Peaco Todd, Pooja Usgaonkar, Julia Lunetta, Sylvia Rosenberg), who visibly make things run smoothly on stage
  • The Human Curtain Rods, who hold aloft the sacred curtain through which the winners enter
  • The PAPER AIRPLANE DELUGES (2 of them)
  • The Human Spotlights, who illuminate the proceedings
  • Eight-year-old “Miss Sweetie-Poo“, who encourages 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, J. Barrett and the NSFW (Not Safe for Work) Indicator, noted New York City attorney W.J. Maloney

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 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.
  • Some past winners will return, to share their adventures. This year there will be a demonstration by Kazutaka Kurihawa and Koji Tsukada (acoustics prize, 2012) of the Speech Jammer, the machine that disrupts talking
  • Winners will be 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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