The 2012 Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures

All speeches will be kept delightfully brief, thanks in part to eight-year-old Miss Sweetie Poo. This short video shows highlights of various Miss Sweetie Poos at previous ceremonies.


The 2012 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Thursday, September 20, 7:30 pm*
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
(twitter: #IgNobel)

*Pre-ceremony concert begins at 7:10 pm (US Eastern Time)
The ceremony proper begins at 7:30 pm.

The 22nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners. The winners travelled to the ceremony, at their own expense, from several continents. The Prizes were handed to them by a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, assisted by a large number of assorted Ig personnel, all before a perpetually standing-room only audience. The ceremony included many other delights — see details below. (And for the latest Ig Nobel news, see the blog.)

Watch video of the ceremony here!

Find more improbable videos, on our YouTube channel.

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Official Delegations

Groups of five (5) or more persons attending the Ig Nobel prize ceremony can be officially recognized during the ceremony as Official Delegations. If you would like your group regonized in this way at a future Ig Nobel prize 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. These details will be included in the webpage for next year's ceremony.

Webcast Watching Parties

In addition to the many individual Ig Nobel webcast watching parties that happen around the world, there are a few larger, official ones. If you would like to organize such a party we would like to hear about it and help you publicize it.

This year, there were broadcast watching parties in Paris, in Atlanta, and a grand, middle-of-the-night event at a theater in Leiden, The Netherlands (logo at right).

Downloadable Booklet & Poster

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2012 Ceremony's IgBill (program booklet) and Spiffy Poster. Both are identical to the ones we print for the ceremony, and the poster in particular is a great way to increase Ig Nobel and universal awareness among friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, and complete strangers.

2012 Ig Nobel ceremony poster

FIGS (Friends of the Ig) — Generous supporters of the 2012 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think:
Akamai Technologies
Optimal Systems Lab Harvard Extension School Tosci's
Museum of Bad Art Looped Logic Particle Zoo

Ceremony Details

The theme of this year's ceremony (though not necessarily of the individual prizes) is: THE UNIVERSE.

In addition to the awarding of the 2012 Ig Nobel Prizes, the ceremony will include a variety of momentously inconsequential events. Among them:

* Time limits to be enforced by Mr. John Barrett, the Ig Nobel Referee


Who's Who: Click on the 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) a map and directions; and (2) the secret of how to pahk your cah near Hahvud Yahd.

WHAT TO WEAR: We suggest you wear clothing, It's good to wear clothing that is, like you, 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 be thrown at the safety-equipment-laden individual onstage who is the Designated Paper Airplane Target. 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.

OFFICIAL DELEGATIONS: If you have five (5) or more tickets to the Ig Nobel ceremony, your group can choose to be an Official Audience Delegation, and thus be officially celebrated during the event. To register as a Delegation, first obtain tickets from the Harvard Box Office. Then register with Grand Panjandrum of the Delegations Louise Sacco: (+1) 781-444-6757. DEADLINE: The deadline for registering is Friday, September 14.

The Ig Informal Lectures
Saturday, Sep 22, 2012, 1:00 pm.
MIT, Building 10, room 250, 77 Massachusetts Ave.
(twitter: #IgNobel)


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
  • Select past winners will tell us about some of their new adventures
  • Special musical performance by "KEROMIN", the Amazing FROGS
  • Everyone will be available for you to talk with, both before and after the lectures


Press Contacts:

Annals of Improbable Research editor Marc Abrahams, (+1) 617-491-4437
Improbable facilitator Katherine Meusey
Annals of Improbable Research European Bureau Chief Kees Moeliker (Rotterdam, The Netherlands, (+31) 6 53778445

Special Thanks To...

All Ig Nobel Prizes activities are organized by the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). The ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association (HRSFA), the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students (SPS), and the Harvard Computer Society.


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