Authority-Like Figures and Other Assorted Ignitaries, 2016

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 2016 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, hosts the weekly Improbable Research podcast, and writes newspaper columns and the lyrics for Ig Nobel mini-operas, including this year's The Last Second, and now and then a book.
Robin Abrahams
Robin Abrahams (Opera Co-Driector, and 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."
Richard Baguley
Richard Baguley (Official Onstage Tweeter) is a fellow who writes about all sorts of technology and science.
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.
Kettly Benoit (Clock Chorus) speaks 4 languages, works in mental health, and Sings up to a High E (sometimes F)
Mike Benveniste (Photographer)
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.
Nick Carstoiu
Nicholas Carstoiu (Bandleader, Singer, 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.

Frederick Chopin
Frederick Chopin (Opera music) composed many beautiful works for piano, but named very few of them. We are happy to use his music for tonight's opera, which does have a name.

Emily Coombs
Emily Coombs (Human Curtain Rod) is a chemist and is the mother of a past Miss Sweetie-Poo.
Jean Cummings (Clock Chorus) is an Education Journalist
Frank "Barefoot" Cunningham (Sound Recording) has been recording sound, barefoot, at the Ig since some time in the 20th century.
Chris Deter
Chris Deter (Major-Minordomo) is a thespian trapped inside a systems analyst's body, who likes The Great Outdoors, playing video games, and thinking about outer space.
Julia Deter (Improbable Facilitator)
Jack Dietz
Jack Dietz (Slide Show) is a computer scientist with BBN Technologies
Gaetano Donizetti
Gaetano Donizetti (Opera music) composed the music for almost 70 operas, such as Anna Bolena, L'elisir d'amore, and Lucrezia Borgia. Alas he only gained his Ig Nobel opera credit posthumously.
Gary Dryfoos
Gary Dryfoos (Majordomo, and pre-ceremony solo singer) is a scholar, a gentleman, and a majordomo. His majordomic qualifications include intensive specialized training, and owning his own tuxedo. This is his 25th Ig.
Ellen Duffy-Friend (Clock Chorus) is a Registered Nurse, and is a Cantor at North American Martyr's Church
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).
Alexey Eliseev
Alexey Eliseev (Photographer) takes photographs, discreetly.
Jean Evans
Jean Evans (Chaperonin)
Maria Ferrante
Maria Ferrante (Opera Soloist & Co-Director) enjoys an active career as recording artist, recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician, in the United States and abroad. This is her seventh year starring in an Ig Nobel opera premiere.
Holly Gettings
Holly Gettings (Lighting & Technology, Special Thanks) has for many years been artfully directing photons towards their destined spots on the the Ig Nobel stage.
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.
Katherine Griffin
Katherine Griffin (Assistant to J.D.)

April Grant (Liaison to Winners' Families) makes jam very well and plays banjo somewhat less well
Jan Hadland (Clock Chorus) sings with the jazz group "Just In Time"
Hunter Heinlen
Hunter Heinlen (Lighting & Technology) is a gentleman of mystery, despite and because of his easy and frequent familiarity with brilliant lighting. He knows how to work diplomatically with dim bulbs.
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 26th Ig.
Bill Hoston
Bill Hoston (Diplomat) is a Generalist problem solver with a PhD in Physics.
Judie Jackson (Surgical Nurse)
John Jarcho (Clock Chorus) is a Cardiologist and an Editor at the New England Journal of Medicine
John Jenkins (Ig Informal Lectures (Saturday) Coordinator) is manager of the MIT Press Bookstore. This is his nth Ig.

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 25th Ig.
Arthur Kautz
Arthur Kautz (Stagehand) is a 5th generation engineer coming into his own geek. He has been prop master at Rebel Shakespeare, is active in FIRST robotics, and in realizing the potential of 3D printing.
Jeff Keller (Stagehand)
Dave Kessler
David "DK" Kessler (Co-Producer and Stage Manager) is knowledgable about theater, logistics, Scotland, sea chanteys, philosophy, and whisky.
Eliza Kosoy
Eliza Kosoy (Major-Minordomo) does research in computational cognitive science at MIT and Harvard. She is really good at talking to the police and takes an incredible mug shot. She can bale any horse out of jail.
Emma Liddell (Minordomo)
Julia Lunetta
Julia Lunetta (Minordomo, Improbable Webmaster) is a 15-year veteran minordomo. In addition to being a professional geek, she is also a semi-professional actress and musician, and an amateur human. When not shuttling people around the Sanders stage, she sings around NYC with Three Dollar Bill, a queer a cappella cabaret group.
Joseph Madsen (Surgeon) is a Neurosurgeon at Boston Children's Hospital and an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School
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 (NSFW Monitor, Prominent New York Attorney) will also be appearing as Himself.
Lauren Maurer
Lauren Maurer (Master of E-Bookery) holds an SM in Science Writing from MIT, and then helped invent the first e-book format which can be read by ALL major e-readers, used in the e-book editions of the Annals of Improbable Research. She's also a science writer transplanted from America to the UK.
Kevin McCaughey (Clock Chorus) works in Marketing and has 4 children
Thomas Michel
Dr. Thomas Michel (Opera Impresario, Founder and maestro, Boston Squeezebox Ensemble) is a Cardiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. and is half of the busking duo, "Yesterday's Bait". He has been in many Igs.
Modest  Mussorgsky
Modest P. Mussorgsky (Opera music) composed "Pictures at an Exhibition", "Boris Godunov", and "The Destruction of Sennacherib" among other works while alive. Then he died and became Co-Composer of tonight's opera.
Wally Napier
Wally Napier (Press Wrangler) Studies Biology and Magic at Tufts University.
David Nickerson
David Nickerson (Sound) spends his time growing this son TJ, and his company Bay State Sound, in that order. He's been working on the Igs since 2010
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.
Alex J.H. Phillips (Stagehand)
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.
Daniel Rosenberg
Daniel Rosenberg (Performing Scientist, and Clock Chorus) 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.
Katrina Rosenberg
Katrina Rosenberg (Human Spotlight) is a student at Northeastern University. All her sisters are former Miss Sweetie Poos. This is her manyth Ig.
Sylvia Rosenberg
Sylvia Rosenberg (Minordomo) is a former Miss Sweetie Poo, and a current student at Harvard College.
Louise Sacco
Louise Sacco (Grand Panjandrum of the Delegations) is co-founder and Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Bad Art. She is also an usher at Red Sox games in Fenway Park.
Camille Saint-Saens
Camille Saint-Saëns (Opera music) a genre-spanning composer who wrote, "Sampson and Delilah", and "Danse Macabre" among other works. He worried that his composition "Carnial of the Animals" was so frivlous that it would damage his reputation. Now he has an Ig Nobel opera credit.
Rob Sanders
Rob Sanders (Production Assistant & Stagehand) 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.
Abby Schiff
Abby Schiff (Clock Chorus) is an MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School and played Clarinet for the 2013 Ig opera.
Ted Sharpe
Ted Sharpe (Clock Chorus) is a Computational Biologist at the Broad Institute and is half of the busking duo, Yesterday's Bait.
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.
Michael Skuhersky (Clock Chorus, Performing Scientist)
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 many 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.
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.
Scott TaylorE
Scott Taylor (Opera Soloist) is a singer, trombonist, computer chip designer, co-owner of Stage Loft Repertory Theater, and mentor for a robotics team.
Persis thorndike
Persis Thorndike (Asst to D.K., Diplomat) is a professional Field Interviewer and Data Collector. She is also a planner/coordinator for several science fiction conventions and enjoys wearing clothes with all the colors of the rainbow.
Peaco Todd
Peaco Todd (Minordomo) works as a political columnist/cartoonist and professor. Her work can be found at and
Fred Tsai (Clock Chorus) is a Resident Physician at Brigham & Women's Hospital, plays piano, and speaks 3 languages.
Pooja Usgaonkar
Pooja Usgaonkar (Minordomo) is a software engineer and musician interested in local sustainability.
Melissa Webster (Ig Glorious Liaison)
Sue Wellington (Clock Chorus) does Financial Management for non-profit organizations is a Tutor at Cambridge Ringe & Latin, and sings with Boston Jazz Voices
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.
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.
Ben Wurgaft
Ben Wurgaft (Diplomat) is a noted, and constantly note-taking intellectual.
Patrick Yacono
Patrick Yacono (Opera Pianist) is a researcher at the Harvard Medical School and an active freelance pianist. He also plays Bulgarian bagpipe (squeezebag) and is a member of the Boston Squeezebox Ensemble.
Yulia Yun
Yulia Yun (Opera Rehearsal Pianist) is a first prize winner at the Uzbekistan National Piano Competition and has since studied piano with Sergei Polusmiak, Eda Mazo Shlyam, and Ludmilla Lifson. She holds degrees in Music and French.
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