Authority-Like Figures and Other Assorted Ignitaries, 2018

For a list of Nobel laureates, 24/7 Lecturers, and past Ig Nobel Prize winners who will also be part of this, see the 2018 ceremony web page.

Please enjoy this never-yet-complete list of 2018 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 writes newspaper columns and the librettos for Ig Nobel mini-operas, including this year's The Broken Heart Opera, 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 (Social Media Butterfly Catcher) 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.
Jackie Baum (Party Host) has from early on been creating delicious party foods and atmosphere for the new winners. That and other deliciousness is available to the world, at Trillfoods.
John Bradley (Stagehand)
Mike Benveniste (Photographer)
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.
Linda Brennan
Linda Brennan (Stagehand) is a stage hand/manager in the Boston burlesque scene, a stage hand and performer in 2 Rocky Horror casts since 1996, and wears her geek with pride.
Mike Breslin (Sound)
Howard Cannon (Photographer)
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.

Heidi Clark (Green Room Oracle).
Stephanie Clayman (Improbable Executive Assistant) is a professional actress, teacher, and coach. She was raised in a family of scientists, and is delighted to have found the Igs, where art, science, and humor all coexist in delightful chaos.
Jean Cummings
Jean Cummings (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.
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 27th Ig.
Jim Eakins
Jim Eakins (Stagehand) teaches Physics at Wentworth Institute of Technology, and once successfully spoke (Jabba-the-) Hutt-ese to a stranger on the streeets of Jilin, China..
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.
Maria Eliseeva
Maria Eliseeva (Human Curtain Rod) speaks Russian and English, works as a patent and trademark attorney and enjoys devoting some time to singing and playing the piano..
Maria Ferrante
Maria Ferrante (Opera Soloist & Music Director) enjoys an active career as recording artist, recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician, in the United States and abroad. This is her nineth year starring in an Ig Nobel opera premiere.
Lisa Ferretti (Chorus) is an LMT and CSW who also volunteers for the Red Sox Fenway Force.
Roksi Freeman
Roksi Freeman (Minordomo) is a social cognitive scientist and freelance writer who also builds espresso machines and practices 14th century German style fencing.
Stefanie Friedhoff (Press Liaison, Simultaneous Translator)
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.
Steve Golson
Steve Golson (Sweeper) is a freelance integrated circuit designer, who Studied geophysics at MIT, and co-designed the video game Ms. Pac-Man. He enjoys astrophotography and rifle shooting.
Terry Golson
Terry Golson (Sweeper) is an animal behaviorist, horsewoman, author of cookbooks and childrens books, and once appeared on Martha Stewart with a trained chicken
Jan Hadland
Jan Hadland (Opera Soloist) 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 (Announcer, Opera Narrator), biochemist-turned-science writer, announces the opera, 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 27th Ig (at least).
Bill Hoston
Bill Hoston (Diplomat) is a Generalist problem solver with a PhD in Physics.
John Jarcho
John Jarcho (Chorus) is a Cardiologist and an Editor at the New England Journal of Medicine
John Jenkins (Ig Informal Lectures 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 (at least) 26th Ig.
Jeff Keller (Stagehand)
David Kessler
David "DK" Kessler (Co-Producer, Stage Manager) is knowledgable about theater, logistics, Scotland, sea chanteys, philosophy, and whisky.
Bruce Kolan
Bruce Koplan (Opera Bassist) is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital.
Emma Liddell (Minordomo)
Michele Liguori (Portaborse) is Director of Regulatory Operations at Alkermes, and has appeared on several gameshows
Julia Lunetta
Julia Lunetta (Minordomo, Improbable Webmaster) is a 16-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.
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.
Dakota McCoy (Chorus, 24/7 Lecturer) studies Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, and can read/write Middle Kingdom Hieroglyphics. She has sung and leapt on the Ig stage before, and this year we believe she will speak.
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.
David Nickerson
David Nickerson (Sound) spends his time growing this son TJ, and his company Bay State Events, in that order. He's been working on the Igs since 2010
John Overholt
john Overholt (Safety Announcer) is Curator of Early Modern Rare Books and Manuscripts at Harvard's Houghton Library, an enthusiastic Twitterer, and admitted watcher of professional golf.
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.
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.
Dan Richards (Stagehand).
Katrina Rosenberg
Katrina Rosenberg (Human Spotlight) is a Primary Care Nurse at Fenway Health, and an amateur wooden spoon carver. 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 veteran of many Ig Nobel ceremonies.
Andrew Ross (Chorus) is a Graduate student in Machine learning at Harvard.
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.
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.
Lizhou Sha
Lizhou Sha (Opera Violinist) works at MIT for NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite mission. He's also a ham radio operator.
Pranav Shah (Diplomat) is a peripatetic virologist who uses very big microscopes to visualize very small virus particles.
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.
Jahnvi Singh
Jahnvi Singh (Chorus) is a Learning Experience Designer and student of Hindustani Classical Music. She has performed on 2 continents (when you include tonight's performance).
Michael Skuhersky (Chorus, Silmultaneous Translator) Dreams of digitizing/uplpoading human brains, and works on that possibility as a Graduate student in neuroscience at MIT.
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, then as a Google person, (where he built a digital waterfall, among other things), and then as...
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 (Chorus) 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
Fred Tsai (Chorus)
Pooja Usgaonkar
Pooja Usgaonkar (Minordomo) is a software engineer and musician interested in local sustainability.
Marsha Warren
Marsha Warren (Chorus) Works at MIT in the Office of the Provost.
Melissa Webster (Ig Glorious Liaison)
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.
Yulia Yun
Yulia Yun (Opera 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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