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The 27th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony & Lectures

Thursday, September 14, 2017, *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 were kept delightfully brief, with time limits enforced by eight-year-old Miss Sweetie Poo.

The 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony introduced ten new Ig Nobel Prize winners – Each has done something that makes people laugh then think.

Winners traveled 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 will appear in the Improbable Research blog.

Live Webcast & Social Media-ing

(We’ve been webcasting since 1995!)

WEBCAST: The ceremony was broadcast live on September 14th, 2017 — on, AND on our facebook page (AND several other sites embedded the live broadcast in their own webpages).

We archived the ceremony video on our YouTube channel. Here it is below –

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


@ImprobResearch, and #IgNobel


TICKETS: This event has already happened.
Tickets for next year’s Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony will go on sale in early July at the Harvard Box Office web site.

Stay informed about upcoming Ig Nobel events by joining our private E-mail list.
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News accounts of the ceremony are themselves a form of literature.

Official Delegations

Groups of five (5) or more persons attending the Ig Nobel prize ceremony can be officially recognized during the ceremony as Official Delegations. If you would like your group recognized in this way: First obtain tickets, then register with Louise Sacco, Official Overseer of the Delegations (phone: 781-690-6621, email: LouiseSacco AT The deadline for registering as a delegation is a week before the ceremony (Thursday Sept. 7th, 2017).


Downloadable Poster & Program

Download your very own PDF copies of the 2017 Ceremony’s Spiffy Poster (today), and IgBill (in August), identical to the ones we print for the ceremony.

CLICK HERE to see the FULL SIZE poster of the 2017 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony


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



FIGS (Friends of the Ig) — Generous supporters of the 2017 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, who are helping the world laugh then think:

logo of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

And special thanks to the mysterious and benevolent Herbert Dooskin, and to Toscanini’s Ice Cream‘s ice cream.


Ceremony Details

This 27th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony included many improbable things:

    • THE THEME of the 2017 ceremony (though not necessarily of the achievements that win prizes) was: UNCERTAINTY.
    • KEYNOTE MINUTE-LECTUREJean Evans. Topic: Heisenberg Uncertainty.
    • PRE-CEREMONY CONCERT on stage, by The Boston Typewriter Orchestra
    • PRE-PRE-CEREMONY CONCERT in the transept (lobby) by The Boston Squeezebox Ensemble (BSE) (Directed by Dr. Thomas Michel)
    • Two MOMENTS OF SCIENCE, by Daniel Rosenberg and the Performing Scientists
  • 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

The ceremony also celebrates the publication of two booksThis Is Improbable Too, and The Ig Nobel Cookbook (volume 1)


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

Who’s Who: [coming soon] Click on the 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 16, 2017, 1:00 pm
MIT, building 10, room 250

A half-afternoon of improbably funny, informative, informal, brief public lectures and demonstrations:

The Ig informal Lectures was a free event, organized in cooperation with the MIT Press Bookstore.

Here’s video of the 2017 Ig Informal Lectures:

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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