Authority-Like Figures and Other Assorted Ignitaries, 2012

For a list of Nobel laureates, 24/7 Lecturers, and past Ig Nobel Prize winners who will also be part of this, see the ceremony web page.

Please enjoy this never-yet-complete list of 2012 Ig Nobel ignitaries, literati, glitterati, pseudo-intellectuals, quasi-pseudo-intellectuals, cogno-intellectuals and assorted others who in some way are/were assisting in bringing the Ceremony into reality.
(NOTE: ** indicates name is/was/will be misspelled)

Marc Abrahams
Marc Abrahams (Producer/Director, Master of Ceremonies, Writer) founded the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. He also edits the magazine Annals of Improbable Research and its videos, and writes newspaper columns and Ig Nobel mini-operas, and now and then a book.
Robin Abrahams
Robin Abrahams (Lurking Presence) writes the popular "Miss Conduct" social advice column for the Boston Globe Sunday magazine and blogs at She is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind Over Manners.
Dany Adams
Dany Adams (Diplomat) is Associate Research Professor at the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. She gave one of the first 24/7 Lectures, which culminated in a seven-word definition of 'biology': "If it can get infected, it's biology."
Marc Andelman
Marc Andelman (Opera performer) is a character actor, inventor, and scientist. This is his fourth, or perhaps fift, Ig.
John Barrett
John Barrett (Referee) is a retired educator who stays active as a baseball umpire and soccer referee for high school and private leagues in Eastern Massachusetts.
Mike Benveniste (Photographer)
Ben Biggs
Ben Biggs (Minordomo)
Joost Bonsen
Joost Bonsen (Performing Chemist) is a man about town, especially the MIT-related portions of town. He has performed, chemically, in many Igs.
Jim Bredt
Dr. Jim Bredt (Human Spotlight) was a co-founder of Z Corporation and co-inventor of full-color 3D Printing. He taught freshman chemistry at MIT and drew a cartoon textbook on thermodynamics, and invented the concept of the human spotlight. He currently works as a materials scientist for 1366 Technologies, a solar startup in Lexington.
Constance Brichford (Human Curtain Rod) is a freelance writer and an enthusiastic but talentless gardener.
Nick Carstoiu
Nicholas Carstoiu (Bandleader, Singer, and Keyboardist) hoc composer/stream o' consciousness improviser, BMI grant winner and member, former songwriter/bandmember/published recording artist of The Freeborne (album "Peak Impressions" now owned/published by Smithsonian Folkways), Mister Moto, The Twins Love School, and The Penny Wise Guys. Also a non-practicing licensed attorney.
Trevor Chamberlain
Trevor Chamberlain (Camera Crew) is a Boston based director, cinematographer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the film/video production industry. He has been on the Ig camera crew since 2007.
Moss Collum
Moss Collum (Minordomo)
Frank "Barefoot" Cunningham (Sound Recording)
Gary Dryfoos
Gary Dryfoos (Majordomo) is a scholar, a gentleman, and a majordomo. His majordomic qualifications include intensive specialized training, and owning his own tuxedo. This is his 21th Ig.
Stanley Eigen
Stanley Eigen (Lurking Presence) has been with the Igs since the beginning. In addition to serving as Commutative Editor for the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, he is a math professor at Northeastern University (and yes, his name really is Eigen). This is his 22nd Ig.
Alexey Eliseev (Photographer)
Dave Feldman (Master Technician emeritus)
Maria Ferrante
Maria Ferrante (Opera Soloist) enjoys an active career as recording artist, recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician, in the United States and abroad. This is her fifth year at the Igs.
Holly Gettings (Lighting & Technology (Special Thanks))
Roberta Gilbert
Roberta Gilbert (Opera soloist) is trilling and thrilling in her fifth Ig.
Ray Glauber
Roy Glauber (Official Sweeper) is Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. In 2005, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics. For ten years prior to that, he swept paper airplanes from the stage at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony; he has not ceased to continue this tradition.
Jean Berko-Gleason
Jean Berko Gleason (Welcome Welcome Speaker, Goodbye Goodbye Speaker) is professor emerita of psychology at Boston University. She is the inventor of the Wug Test. She owns a tiara.
Neil Gussman
Neil Gussman (Ig Day Press Wrangler) is communications manager at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. He also rides enormous distances on bicycles, and reads books —lots of them.
Jenny Gutbezahl
Jenny Gutbezahl (Minordomo) is delighted to be involved with the Ig Nobels for the third consecutive year. Her first year, she also co-starred, silently in her pajamas in the opera. When not herding Nobel laureates like cats, Jenny enjoys taking long walks on the beach, arguing about the appropriate condiments for soft pretzels, and maintaining homeostasis.
Tom Halter
Tom Halter (Trumpet/Cornet/Valve Trombone) launched his career as a professional musician in Las Vegas house bands, backing up such artists as Ginger Rogers and Bobbie Gentry. After moving to Boston in 1979, Tom has served as musical director of New England's premier mariachi band, Mariachi Mexamerica. He is also a member of the world renown 10 piece jazz band Either/Orchestra. Tom has recorded or played with Cab Calloway, the Four Tops, and others.
Hunter Heinlen (Lighting & Technology)
David Holzman
David Holzman (Photographer) has had multiple shows of classic car photos, and sells photo art at His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, JNCI & elsewhere. He has a remarkable speaking voice.
Karen Hopkin
Karen Hopkin (Parade Announcer, Opera Narrator), biochemist-turned-science writer, announces the opera and the Win-a-Date contest, and all sorts of things. At the 2004 Ig, Hopkin led the musical tribute to Daisuke Inoue, the inventor of Karaoke, who was awarded that year's peace prize. She is co-author of the textbook Essential Cell Biology. In her spare time, Hopkin bakes pies and collects the signatures of Nobel Laureates on a 1950s-style autograph dog. This is her 22st Ig.
John Jenkins (Ig Informal Lectures (Saturday) Coordinator) is manager of the MIT Press Bookstore. This is his nth Ig.
Neil Judell
Neil Judell (Mic Monkey) is the Founder and President of Optimal Systems Laboratory, Inc., an engineering design firm specializing in stochastic estimation and control.
Susan Kany
Susan Kany (Diplomat) has, for more than 20 years, been perfecting her diplomatic skills within Harvard's administration.
Alice Shirrell Kaswell (Writer) is a staff writer for the Annals of Improbable Research. This is her 22nd Ig.
Dave Kessler
David "DK" Kessler (Co-Producer and Stage Manager) is knowledgable about theater, logistics, Scottish history, and whisky.
Joshua Kroll
Joshua Kroll (Internet Broadcast Producer) is a fourth-year graduate student in computer science at Princeton University. He became involved in the Ig during his dear old college days and nights at Harvard.
Julia Lunetta
Julia Lunetta (Minordomo, Improbable Webmaster) is a 13-year veteran minordomo. In addition to being a professional geek, she is also a semi-professional actress and musician, and an amateur human.
Lois Malone (Artwork & Logos) drew "The Stinker", the logo of the Annals of Improbable Research and of the Ig Nobel ceremony. Formerly at MIT, she now paints, sculpts, and designs houses in the mountains of New Mexico.
William J. Maloney
William J. Maloney (V-Chip Monitor, Prominent New York Attorney) will also be appearing as Himself.
Lauren Maurer
Lauren Maurer (i have no idea what my title is...) recently finished the Graduate Program in Science Writing at MIT, and is now an Improbable intern. She blogs for the Annals of Improbable Research website, and is working on converting the magazine into electrons. She's also a freelance science writer with a mostly healthy interest in psychedelic research. This is her first Ig.
Katherine Meusey (Improbable Facilitator) oversees most of the logistics for the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. She does similar things for (and is Circulation Director for) the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. She is considered an authority on French bulldogs.This is her second year at the Igs.
Thomas Michel
Dr. Thomas Michel (Founder and maestro, Boston Squeezebox Ensemble, and opera accordionist) plays accordion and is Co-Director of the Leder Program in Human Biology and Translational Professor of Medicine (Biochemistry) and Federman Chair in Medical Education at Harvard Medical School. He has been in many Igs.
Bruce Petschek
Bruce Petschek (Videographer) is a freelance videographer. His production company, Seven Generations Video, has been videotaping the Igs for as long as anyone can remember and he is the chief editor of the Ig Nobel collection series on YouTube. His three children have all grown up working on the Ig Nobel video production crew since they were 6 years old and despite this formative experience they have all grown into fairly well-adjusted adults.
Anna Phillips (onstage lurking presence, and Internet parties coordinator)
Gus Rancatore
Gus Rancatore (Diplomat) is the proprietor of Toscanini's Ice Cream. In 2007 he invented a new ice cream flavor to honor Mayu Yamamoto, who that year won the Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering how to extract vanillin from cow dung.
Rich Roberts
Rich Roberts (singer) is the leading practitioner of hat innovation at every Ig Nobel ceremony. Now chief scientific officer at New England Biolabs, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1993 for his role in discovering split genes.
Genevieve Reynolds
Genevieve Reynolds (Major Minordomo) is in her 12th year marshaling Ig winners and Laureates. In her spare time, Ms. Reynolds enjoys watching sheep herding trials.
Julia Rios
Julia Rios(Minordomo)
Daniel Rosenberg
Daniel Rosenberg (Performing Chemist, and opera soloist) prepares and performs demonstrations for all the chemistry classes and many of the physics classes in the Harvard Science Center, and is a teaching fellow for many Harvard chemistry classes. He fathered two Miss Sweetie Poos, a Human Spotlight and a sweeper. He has led the performing chemist in many an Ig.
Isabelle Rosenberg
Isabelle Rosenberg (Human Curtainrod) is a former Human Spotlight. She has given birth to two Miss Sweetie Poos and a Human Spotlight.
Katrina Rosenberg
Katrina Rosenberg (Human Spotlight) is a sophomore at Northeastern University.
Sylvia Rosenberg
Sylvia Rosenberg (Official Sweeper) is a former Miss Sweetie Poo.
Louise Sacco
Louise Sacco (Grand Panjandrum of the Delegations) is the Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Bad Art. She is also a fan photographer at Fenway Park and cohost of the Frugal Yankee Radio Hour.
Rob Sanders (Lighting & Technology) is still amazed that the simple statement "I love the Igs," has somehow ensured him perpetual employment, albeit for only 2 days a year. This is his 17th Ig.
Don Schechter
Don Schechter (Camera Crew) is the founder of Charles River Media Group and a part-time lecturer at Tufts University in Film. His secretive past involves music composition and theremin performance.
Ben Sears
Ben Sears (Opera soloist) is returning for his sixth time with the Igs. He performs The Great American Songbook regularly with pianist Bradford Conner and together they have twelve CD releases of Irving Berlin, George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Noel Coward, Yip Harburg and others. Ben's first book, "The Irving Berlin Reader" was published this past April by Oxford University Press.
Cody Signore
Cody Signore (Camera Crew) is an Assistant Director and Cinematographer with Charles River Media Group and has worked on commercials, narratives, documentary films and a few of his own feature film involving cowboys and bounty hunters.
Miles Smith (Sound Recording) is a freelance audio engineer based in the Boston area, is currently on staff at WGBH Radio, is chief engineer for the Spanish Beisbol Network, works with "This American Life", and has had a hand in three Grammy-nominated albums. Most important, he has been involved in many, many Igs.
Quentin Smith
Quentin Smith (Director of Improbable Engineering) has been playing with wires down the street at MIT for the past 5 years, first as an MIT undergrad, now as a Google person. His latest project is to build a digital waterfall. In his spare time, he works on cool video projects with MIT Student Cable.
Catherine Quick Spingler
Catherine Quick Spingler (Opera Costumer) During her tenure as Costume Designer at Clark University she designed the Main Stage productions.
Naomi Stephen
Naomi Stephen (Press wrangler), between academic administrative and teaching careers, and being in the Ig for this, her umpteenth pluse one time, has had lots of experience with all kinds of wrangling.
David Stockton
David Stockton (Opera Stage Director/Conductor) has directed many kinds of operas, yet never before has he done an overtly universal opera. This is his fifth Ig.
Geri Sullivan
Geri Sullivan (Artwork & Logos, IgBill Design and Layout, Slide Show) is a graphic designer at her own firm, PROmote Communications, and is the design and layout director of the Annals of Improbable Research.
Sharada Sundaram-Senders
Sharada Sundaram-Senders (Miss Sweetie-Poo) is passionate about dinosaurs and has a particular affection for Parasauralophus. She is an avid singer and storyteller who has already memorized Tom Lehrer's "The Elements."
Vaughn Tan
Vaughn Tan (Diplomat) is a Harvard graduate student in sociology, and also at Harvard Business School. He studies and experiments with coffee, among other things.
Peaco Todd
Peaco Todd (Minordomo) works as a political columnist/cartoonist and professor. Her work can be found at and
Corky White
Corky White (Diplomat) is a food anthropologist, based at Boston University. She presently is engaged in research on urban social spaces and social change in Japan, particularly on the history of the cafe. She is perhaps the world's greatest professional scholar of Japanese coffee culture.
Mira Wilczek
Mira Wilczek (Lurking Presence)
Eric Workman
Eric Workman (Prize, Props and Scenery Creation, Performing Props Master) creates unusual things at Boston's Museum of Science. He has been designing and building Ig Nobel Prizes for well over a decade.
Patrick Yacono
Patrick Yacono (Opera Pianist) is a researcher at the Harvard Medical School and an active freelance pianist in the Boston area. This is his fourth Ig as a member of the Boston Squeezebox Ensemble, recently adding his Bulgarian bagpipe (squeezebag) to the mix.
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