A new opera at the Ig Nobel awards

A new opera at the Ig Nobel awards


norman lebrecht

September 07, 2016


CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS, USA — On Thursday night, September 22, the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize winners will be announced — and showered with applause and paper airplanes — at Harvard University.  They will be honored for achievements that first make people LAUGH, and then make them THINK.

This will be the Twenty-Sixth 1st 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.

THE WINNERS: Ten (10) 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. Attending the ceremony will be: Dudley Herschbach (chemistry, 1986), Eric Maskin (economics, 2007), Rich Roberts (physiology or medicine, 1993), and Roy Glauber (physics, 2005).

THEME: The theme of this year’s ceremony (though not necessarily of the individual prizes) is: TIME.

ALSO: The ceremony will also include:

·      MINI-OPERA: The premiere of “The Last Second“, a mini-opera about a plot to secretly add a extra leap second to the world’s clocks. [NOTE: At the end of this year, scientists will add a leap second to the world’s clocks; one of those scientists, Dr. John Lowe of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, play a role in this mini-opera.]

·      THE 24/7 LECTURES, in which several of the world’s top thinkers each explains his or her subject twice — first in TWENTY-FOUR (24) SECONDS, and then, clearly, in SEVEN (7) WORDS. This year’s 24/7 Lecturers, and their topics, include: Patricia Brennan (biologist renowned for studies on the morphological evolution of reproductive structures): DUCK GENITAL MORPHOLOGY; Nicole Sharp (creator of FYFD, the world’s most popular web site about fluid dynamics): Fluid Dynamics; Rich Roberts (Nobel laureate, physiology or medicine): CLOCK GENES;  Dudley Herschbach (Nobel laureate, chemistry): TIME.


Last year (2015) the honorees included: The Japanese and Slovakian researchers who studied the biomedical benefits or biomedical consequences of intense kissing (and other intimate, interpersonal activities); the Panamanian entomologist who arranged for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body, to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull, middle toe tip, and upper arm). and which are the most painful (the nostril, upper lip, and penis shaft); and the Australian/American team who partially un-boiled an egg.

WEBCAST: This year’s ceremony will be webcast live (for the 22nd straight year — the 1995 Ig Nobel ceremony was one of the very first events ever to be webcast). There will be webcast-watching parties around the world.



WHAT: 2016 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony

WHEN: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 6:00 pm (US eastern time)

WHERE: Sanders Theatre, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA


INFO: <http://www.improbable.com/ig/2016>




  • Cyril Blair says:

    What does this have to do with Lang Lang? Is he receiving an Ig Nobel?