- THE CEREMONY (Thursday, September 14)
- IG INFORMAL LECTURES (Saturday, September 16)
- Previous years
- Info for the press
Thursday, September 14, 2017, *6:00 pm
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
*Pre-ceremony concert — and the webcast — began at 5:35 pm (US Eastern Time)
The ceremony proper began at 6:00 pm
All speeches were kept delightfully brief, with time limits enforced by eight-year-old Miss Sweetie Poo.
The 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners - Each has done something that makes people laugh then think.
Winners traveled to the ceremony, at their own expense, from around the world to receive their prize from a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates, in Harvard's historic and largest theater. Additional info will appear in the Improbable Research blog.
Live Webcast & Social Media-ing
WEBCAST: The ceremony was broadcast live on September 14th, 2017 -- on improbable.com, AND on our facebook page (AND several other sites embedded the live broadcast in their own webpages).
We archived the ceremony video on our YouTube channel. Here it is below -
LIVE ONLINE COMMENTARY was added by our onstage Social Media Butterfly Collector AND by the ONLINE AUDIENCES on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
TICKETS: This event has already happened.
Tickets for next year's Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will go on sale in early July at the Harvard Box Office web site.
Stay informed about upcoming Ig Nobel events by joining our private E-mail list.
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News accounts of the ceremony are themselves a form of literature.
Downloadable Poster & Program
Download your very own PDF copies of the 2017 Ceremony's Spiffy Poster (today), and IgBill (in August), identical to the ones we print for the ceremony.
|FIGS (Friends of the Ig) — Generous supporters of the 2017 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think:|
|And special thanks to the mysterious and benevolent Herbert Dooskin, and to Toscanini's Ice Cream's ice cream. |
This 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony included many improbable things:
- Ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners were announced and introduced
- The winners physically received their prizes, and a handshake, from genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel laureates:
- THE THEME of the 2017 ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) was: UNCERTAINTY.
- KEYNOTE MINUTE-LECTURE: Jean Evans. Topic: Heisenberg Uncertainty.
- PRE-CEREMONY CONCERT on stage, by The Boston Typewriter Orchestra
- PRE-PRE-CEREMONY CONCERT in the transept (lobby) by The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble (BSE) (Directed by Dr. Thomas Michel)
- Two MOMENTS OF SCIENCE, by Daniel Rosenberg and the Performing Scientists
- THE 24/7 LECTURES, in which several of the world's top thinkers each explained 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
- PREMIER OF THE MINI-OPERA "The Incompetence Opera" - a musical encounter with the Peter Principle and the Dunning-Kruger Effect. And the word "so." [The entire libretto is included in IgBill, which you can download as a PDF.] [INFO: A bit of background on the opera.]
- Music by Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, John Walter Bratton, and Anon. Story and words by Marc Abrahams.
- Directed by Maria Ferrante and Robin Abrahams
- Starring Maria Ferrante and Ray Bauwens
- With The Peter Principle Chorus: Ellen Friend, Jan Hadland, Dakota McCoy, Abby Schiff, Jean Cummings, Scott Taylor, Andrew Ross, Bjorn Corleis, John Jarcho, Ted Sharpe, Michael Skuhersky, Daniel Rosenberg, Marcia Warren). The chorus ranks were be swelled by the Nobel laureates
- Orchestral accompaniment by the Dunning-Kruger Effective Orchestra: Yulia Yun, Thomas Michel, and Bruce Koplan
- CEREMONIAL BOWS from returning past Ig Nobel Prize winners:
- John Culvenor (2003 Physics Prize - Analysis of the forces required to drag sheep across various surfaces)
- Deborah Anderson (2008 Chemistry Prize - testing whether Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide)
- Ceremonial music by Nicholas Carstoiu and The Ig Leaves
- Karen Hopkin, creator of the Studmuffins of Science Calendar
- Salutes to the Audience Delegations
- The Minordomos, who visibly made things run smoothly on stage
- The Human Curtain Rods, who held aloft the sacred curtain through which the winners entered
- The PAPER AIRPLANE DELUGES (2 of them)
- The Human Spotlights, who illuminated the proceedings
- Eight-year-old "Miss Sweetie-Poo", who encouraged 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
** Time limits were enforced by the the referee, Mr. John Barrett
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 16, 2017, 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 attempted to explain what they did, and why they did it.
- Two past winners returned, to share their adventures:
- Thomas Thwaites (2016 Biology Prize — living as a goat)
- John Culvenor (2003 Physics Prize — Analysis of the forces required to drag sheep across various surfaces)
- Everyone was available for audience members to talk with, both before and after the lectures.
The Ig informal Lectures was a free event, organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore.
Here's video of the 2017 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).