The 32nd First Annual
Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Thursday, September 15, 2022
The 32nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony happened (as in 2020 and 2021, in deference to the lurking ambitions of Covid-19) entirely online, on Thursday, September 15, 2022, at 6:00 pm (U.S. eastern time). Ten new Ig Nobel prizes were awarded for things that make people LAUGH, then THINK. Here’s video of the ceremony:
|What Languages? | Ceremony Details|
|Support The Igs | Ig Informal Lectures|
In addition to the usual English-language stream, there was a separate stream in Japanese (in cooperation with Dwango/NicoNico — and special thanks to Kiyoshi Furusawa for helping with the translation):
There were also, a day or so after the webcast, ceremony highlights in Chinese (in cooperation with Guokr)
(Also: you could have visited the special Ig Nobel exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan, which ran from June 25 through September 11, 2022. And you could have visited the special Ig Nobel Exhibition in Osaka, Japan, which ran from October 1 through November 13, 2022!)
The ceremony itself included these and other traditional elements:
- Winners — Ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners were introduced. Each winner (or winning team) has done something that makes people LAUGH, then THINK
- Presenters — A gaggle of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel laureates handed the Ig Nobel Prizes to the new Ig Nobel winners. Here’s the gaggle:
- Frances Arnold (chemistry, 2018)
- Marty Chalfie (chemistry, 2008)
- Esther Duflo (economics, 2019)
- Jerome Friedman (physics, 1990)
- Eric Maskin (economics, 2007)
- Rich Roberts (physiology or medicine, 1993)
- Barry Sharpless (chemistry, 2001) [NOTE: A few weeks after the Ig Nobel ceremony, it was announced that Barry Sharpless will be awarded a second Nobel Prize, also in chemistry.]
- Donna Strickland (physics, 2018)
- Theme — the theme of the 2022 ceremony, evinced in the opera and other bits, was: Knowledge.
- Mini-Opera — A new mini-opera, called “The Know-It-All Club”, premiered as part of the ceremony. The opera featured Maria Ferrante, Ivan Gusev, Jupiter Montalvo, Thomas Michel, Ted Sharpe, Yulia Yun, narrators Karen Hopkin and Christopher Hopkin, and a peppering of other Know-It-Alls (Robin Abrahams, Meg Boeni, Melissa Franklin, Delphine Gabbay, Mark Hessler, Waheed Mukaddam, Gus Rancatore, Elizabeth Ross, Corky White). The opera plot: Every member of the Know-It-All Club makes clear their opinion that there is only one person in the Know-It-All Club who knows anything.
- 24/7 Lectures — Several of the world’s great thinkers told us, briefly, what they were thinking about (first in 24 seconds, then in 7 words) in the 24/7 Lectures. This year’s 24/7 lecturers:
- Paper Airplanes — Paper airplanes were thrown, by people in many countries and many walks of life.
- Welcome, Goodbye — The traditional Welcome, Welcome Speech and the traditional Goodbye, Goodbye Speech were each delivered by Jean Berko Gleason, who strove to maintain the standard for what welcome speeches and goodbye speeches should be.
- And other things
Normally, we fund the ceremony almost entirely from ticket revenues, plus a few small amounts from generous donors. But in the Covid-19 pandemic years 2020, 2021, and 2022 there are no theater tickets, and so no ticket revenues. Our expenses are lower (no theater rental!), but still substantial. If you or your organization would like to help, please donate to the Ig.
THE IG INFORMAL LECTURES
Later in the Ig Informal Lectures, the new winners explained, if they could, what they did and why they did it.
WHEN/WHERE: Normally the lectures happen at MIT, two days after the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. But in this pandemic year, they are happening online only.
Ig Informal Lecture for the Applied Cardiology Prize: “Heart-Synced Mutual Attraction”
Ig Informal Lecture for the Biology Prize: “Scorpion Love with No Butt”
Ig Informal Lecture for the Medicine Prize: “Ice Cream to Prevent Chemo Damage”
Ig Informal Lecture for the Peace Prize: “Gossip: Honesty and Dishonesty”
Ig Informal Lecture for the Engineering Prize: “A Good Grasp of Knobs”
The TWO Ig Informal Lectures for the Physics Prize (This prize was awarded jointly to two groups, who analyzed different, though overlapping, aspects of the ducklings question. Each group presented an Ig Informal lecture. Here are both of those lectures): “Wave-Riding Ducklings” and “Vortex-Driven Ducklings”
Ig Informal Lecture for the Economics Prize: “Which Is More Important, Talent or Luck?”
Ig Informal Lecture for the Art History Prize: “Ritual Enema Scenes on Ancient Maya Pottery”
SUBSCRIBE TO THE IG EVENTS MAILING LIST