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Ig Nobels Coming to Harvard, MIT, & Japan

On Thursday evening, September 13, the 2018, Ig Nobel Prize winners will be announced — and showered with applause and paper airplanes — at Harvard University. The winners will be honored for achievements that first make people LAUGH, and then make them THINK. This will be the 28th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Organized by the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), in cooperation with several Harvard student groups, it celebrates the unusual, honors the imaginative, and spurs interest in science. Ten new Ig Nobel Prizes will be awarded. The identity of the winners is kept secret until they receive their prize on stage. Genuine Nobel laureates will physically hand the prizes to the winners. These laureates plan to take part in the ceremony: Eric Maskin (Economics, 2007), Wolfgang Ketterle (Physics, 2001), Oliver Hart (Economics, 2016), Michael Rosbash (Physiology or Medicine, 2017), Roy Glauber (Physics, 2005), Rich Roberts (Physiology or Medicine, 1993), and Marty Chalfie (Chemistry, 2008). The theme of this year's ceremony (though not necessarily of the individual prizes) is: The Heart. The ceremony will also include: the premiere of "The Broken Heart Opera,” performed by opera singers and Harvard Medical School cardiologists (The Opera 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.); and the 24/7 Lectures, in which several of the world's top thinkers each explains her or his subject twice — first in 24 seconds, and then, clearly, in 7 words.

In 2017, the Ig Nobel honorees included: Marc-Antoine Fardin (of France), for using fluid dynamics to probe the question "Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?"; Jiwon Han (of South Korea), for analyzing the physical forces that affect a person walking backwards while carrying a cup of coffee; and Marisa López-Teijón, Álex García-Faura, Alberto Prats-Galino, and Luis Pallarés Aniorte (all of Spain), for showing that a developing human fetus responds more strongly to music that is played electromechanically inside the mother's vagina than to music that is played electromechanically on the mother's belly.


This year's ceremony will be webcast live (for the 24th straight year — the 1995 Ig Nobel ceremony was one of the very first events ever to be webcast).


This year’s Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 13, 2018, beginning at 6:00 pm (US Eastern Time), in the Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The Twitter hashtag is #IgNobel. The webcast begins at 5:40 pm, with a special pre-ceremony concert, "The Shoe Drop Concerto," performed by pianist Ivan Gusev and a Shoe.


A related event happens two days later, on Saturday, September 15, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Ig Informal Lectures are a half-afternoon of short public talks by the new Ig Nobel Prize winners. Admission to the lectures is free, but seating is limited. These lectures will begin at 1:00 pm (US Eastern Time) at MIT, Building 10, Room 250, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. This event will also be broadcast live (


The world’s first large-scale museum exhibition about the Ig Nobel Prizes will open on September 22, 2018 in Tokyo, Japan. Among all nations, Japan has long been one of the most fruitful producers, per capita, of Ig Nobel Prize winners. Marc Abrahams, founder of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony and Editor of the Annals of Improbable Research, will take part in the opening ceremony, as will many of Japan’s Ig Nobel Prize winners. The exhibition will be held in the Gallery AaMo in the Tokyo Dome Complex from September 22-November 4, 2018 (

Please see all the links below for much more information on the Ig Nobels.

[Ig Nobel Awards 2018] [Ig Nobel Informal Lectures at MIT] [Tokyo Exhibition on Ig Nobels] [List of Past Ig Nobel Winners] [Annals of Improbable Research]