The 33rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prizes ceremony
(September 14, 2023, Webcast)
The 33rd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony happened on Thursday, September 14, 2023, at 6:00 pm (US eastern time). The 2023 ceremony happened entirely as a webcast, not in a theatre.
Video of the ceremony with captions in Japanese.
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 are this year’s prize presenters:
- Frances Arnold (chemistry, 2018)
- Marty Chalfie (chemistry 2008)
- Peter Doherty (physiology or medicine 1996)
- Esther Duflo (economics 2019)
- Jerry Friedman (physics 1990)
- Wolfgang Ketterle (physics, 2001)
- Eric Maskin (economics 2007)
- Ardem Patapoutian (physiology or medicine, 2021)
- Al Roth (economics 2012)
- Rich Roberts (physiology or medicine 1993)
- Barry Sharpless (chemistry 2001 and chemistry 2022)
- Theme — the theme of the 2023 ceremony, evinced in the non-opera and other bits, was: WATER.
- Mini-Non-Opera — A new mini-non-opera [opera songs, but with no plot] — about water — premiered as part of the ceremony, starring:
- Alexey Eliseev, book
- Ivan Gusev, piano
- Barbara Allen Hill, soprano
- Thomas Michel, accordion
- Julie Reimann, cello
- Scott Taylor, baritone
- 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. Here are 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 — both delivered by Jean Berko Gleason — maintained the standard for what welcome speeches and goodbye speeches should be.
- And other things
A partial history of the paper airplanes in the 2023 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Many people in many places accepted our invitation to throw paper planes. Here’s how [UPDATE: The deadline for submitting 2023 paper airplane videos has now passed]:
Ig Nobel Face-to-Face 2023
(Saturday evening, November 11, 2023, The MIT Museum, Cambridge)
A New, Additional Event One Month After the Ceremony: there will be a new, companion event called Ig Nobel Face-to-Face. The new Ig Nobel Prize winners and other researchers will ask each other questions about their work. (There will also be music and paper airplanes and other good stuff.) Many of the new winners plan to come be part of this event — specifically winners of the:
- Literature Prize
- Mechanical Engineering Prize
- Public Health Prize
- Communication Prize
- Medicine Prize
- Nutrition Prize
- Education Prize
- Physics Prize
This new event will happen in the new MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, on Saturday evening, November 11, 2023.
This will be something of a joyous homecoming for us. The very first Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held in the MIT Museum (in their old building) in 1991.
TICKETS will go on sale soon at the Museum’s web site. (This event will NOT be webcast live. An edited recording will be webcast later in the year.)
Some of the new winners will also participate in public events in London (on November 18) and Tokyo (date to be announced soon ). Details will appear on the Upcoming Events page.
We Ask for Your Help
As per tradition, the ceremony is funded on a shoestring. If you or your organization would like to help, please donate to the Ig.