Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony 2018

The 28th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures


Thursday, September 13, 2018, *6:00 pm
Sanders Theater, Harvard University
(twitter: #IgNobel)

*Pre-ceremony concert - and the webcast - began at 5:35 pm (US Eastern Time)
The ceremony proper began at 6:00 pm

All speeches will be kept delightfully brief, with time limits enforced by eight-year-old Miss Sweetie Poo.

The 28th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners - Each did something that makes people laugh then think.

Winners travelled 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 in the Improbable Research blog.

Live Webcast & Social Media-ing

WEBCAST: The ceremony was webcast. Here's a recording of that. (Historical note: We've been webcasting the Ig Nobel ceremony every year since 1995!)

LIVE ONLINE COMMENTARY by our onstage Social Media Butterfly Collector AND by the ONLINE AUDIENCES took place on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

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@ImprobResearch, and #IgNobel

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Official Delegations
Several groups of five (5) or more persons attending the Ig Nobel prize ceremony were officially recognized during the ceremony as Official Delegations. If you would like your group recognized in this way at a future ceremony: First obtain tickets, then register with Louise Sacco, Official Overseer of the Delegations (phone: 781-690-6621, email: LouiseSacco AT gmail.com). The deadline for registering as a delegation is a week before the ceremony.

Downloadable Poster, Bookmark, & Program

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2018 Ceremony's spiffy poster, and bookmark, and IgBill, identical to the ones we printed for the ceremony.

download the 2018 Ig Nobel ceremony poster   download the 2018 Ig Nobel ceremony bookmark   2018 Ig Nobel ceremony IgBill

Contact us to discuss becoming a supporter of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.

FIGS (Friends of the Ig) — Generous supporters of the 2018 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think!
(please click on the logos, below)
CS50 Moore Foundation  
Pepper Hamilton LLP Abbott  
Redbones Atlas Wines & Liquors  

Ceremony Details

This 28th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony included many improbable things:

    Nobel Laureates attending the 2018 Ig Nobel
          Prize Ceremony

  • THE THEME of the 2018 ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) was: THE HEART.
  • PRE-PRE-CEREMONY TRANSEPT CONCERT in the transept (lobby) by The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble (BSE) (Colin Ferguson, Betty Widerski, Suzanna Schell, Rebecca Cooper, Sari Kalin, Annie Silverman, directed by Dr. Thomas Michel): "Themes From 'The Broken Heart Opera' "
  • PRE-CEREMONY CONCERT in the theater proper by pianist Ivan Gusev: "The Shoe-Drop Concerto," with John Overholt on shoes.
  • 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
  • PREMIERE OF THE MINI-OPERA "The Broken Heart Opera" (THE PLOT: Children curious to know 'How can you mend a broken heart?' decide that the best way is to first build a heart, then break it, then mend it. They try to do exactly that.)
    • Music by Ted Snyder, Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, and Anon
    • Story and words by Marc Abrahams.
    • Directed by Maria Ferrante
    • Starring Maria Ferrante and Jan Hadland,
    • Co-starring The Cardiac Chorus (the chorus ranks will be swelled, somewhat silently, by the Nobel laureates): John Jarcho, Jean Cummings, Cody McCoy, Marsha Warren, Michael Skuhersky, Scott Taylor, Fred Tsai, Andrew Ross, Jahnvi Singh, Lisa Ferretti, and Daniel Davis and Eric Workman and Tesla Coil.
    • Accompanied by the Heart Throb Orchestra. (Yulia Yun,Thomas Michel, Bruce Koplan, Lizhou Sha)
  • CEREMONIAL BOWS from returning past Ig Nobel Prize winners
  • SALUTES to the Audience Delegations
  • Karen Hopkin, creator of the Studmuffins of Science Calendar
  • 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

The ceremony still celebrates the publication of two books: This Is Improbable Too, and The Ig Nobel Cookbook (volume 1)

This Is Improbable Too Ig Nobel Cookbook vol.1

** Time limits were enforced by the the referee, Mr. John Barrett

Who's Who:  Click on this 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) 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 15, 2018, 1:00 pm
MIT 10-250 (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.
  • Past winners returned, to share their adventures
  • Winners were available for audience members to chat with, both before and after the lectures.

The Ig informal Lectures are a free event, organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore. This year we webcast the event:

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).


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