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The 30th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony

Thursday, September 17, 2020

The 30th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will take place entirely online, on Thursday, September 17, 2020.

Since 1991 we have held the ceremony live and in person.
Since 1995 we have been broadcasting it live online.**
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will be the first (and hopefully only) year that we have held it only online.

You will be able to watch it here on this page or on our YouTube channel, and see ten (10) new Ig Nobel Prizes awarded to people who have done things that make people LAUGH, then THINK.

Below is information on what will happen, and how you can help!

**The 1995 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony was one of the very first events ever videocast on the Internet, and possibly the first event that was not a music concert.


THE CEREMONY: The ceremony itself will include most of the traditional elements:

  • Ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners will beintroduced to the public. Each winner (or winning team) has done something that makes people LAUGH, then THINK. A gaggle of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel laureates will hand the Ig Nobel Prizes to the new Ig Nobel winners.
  • A new mini-opera (called “Dream, Little Cockroach”) will premiere as part of the ceremony.
  • Several of the world’s great thinkers will tell us, briefly, what they are thinking about (first in 24 seconds, then in 7 words) in the 24/7 Lectures.
  • Paper airplanes will fly.
  • The traditional Welcome, Welcome Speech and Goodbye Goodbye Speech will maintain the standard for what welcome speeches and goodbye speeches should be.
  • Some other stuff. Including bugs. That’s the theme of this year’s ceremony: Bugs.

THE WEBCAST: The ceremony webcast will happen on September 17, 2020, in English, Spanish, Japanese, and Chinese. If your organization is able [you have a large online platform] and willing to collaborate with us in producing the webcast for some other language, please get in touch with us ASAP.

WE ASK FOR YOUR HELP: Normally, we fund the ceremony almost entirely from ticket revenues, plus a few small amounts from generous donors. But this year there will be no theater tickets, and so no ticket revenues. Our expenses will be lower (no theater rental!), but still substantial. If you or your organization would like to help, please donate to our Patreon, or via the Greater Boston Arts & Business Council.

DETAILS: We will announce further details here on the web site, and also in mini-AIR (our monthly e-newsletter) and on Twitter and Facebook, over the coming weeks.

THE IG INFORMAL LECTURES: Traditionally, the new winners give short public talks at MIT, two days after the ceremony. This year, the Ig Informal Lectures, like the ceremony, will happen entirely online. We have not yet scheduled a specific date (or possibly dates!) for those lectures. Details TBA.

NOSTALGIA: Here’s a look back at more normal times—videos of last year’s (2019) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and Ig informal Lectures:


SOME NEW NOSTALGIA: We asked some Ig Nobel Prize ceremony participants, organizers, and audience members, to tell us, every-so-briefly, their favorite personal Ig Nobel experience. Here are a few of their stories (and check back here every few days, to see additional stories):



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