Ig Nobel Prize

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The Ig Nobel Prize ([ ɪɡnoʊˈbɛl ], English-language pun: ignoble "unworthy, shameful, shameful"), sometimes referred to as the anti- Nobel Prize , is a satirical award to honor scientific achievements that "make people laugh first, then think bring " (to honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think). The prize is awarded by the Cambridge (USA) journal Annals of Improbable Research . The first award ceremony took place in 1991 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologyinstead, since 2012 the prizes have been presented at Harvard University .

Conditions for nominations and election

The condition for a nomination is that the discovery should first make you laugh and then think. In addition, the research topic must be novel. Nobody may have previously submitted a similar scientific work.

The prizes are awarded by a jury , the Ig Nobel Board of Governors. According to the organizing journal Annals of Improbable Research, it is made up of Nobel and Ig Nobel Prize winners, scientific authors, athletes, public officials and other individuals of greater or lesser eminence . Traditionally, on the last day, a random passer-by is invited to make a decision .

The prizes are awarded in autumn, usually shortly before the recipient of the Nobel Prize is announced. The award ceremony will take place (as of 2015) in the Sanders Theater at Harvard University .

Award winners

Because of his efforts to further develop hydrogen bomb technology , the physicist Edward Teller was one of the first to receive this award in 1991 ("for his lifelong commitment to changing the meaning of 'peace' sustainably"). The physicist Robert Matthews received it for his studies of Murphy's Law , particularly for showing that slices of toast always fall on the buttered side.

For a long time Jacques Benveniste was the only laureate to receive the award twice, namely in 1991 and 1998. Joseph B. Keller was also retrospectively co-winner of 1999 (also physics) when he was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics in 2012. declared and since then has also been a double laureate. Other award winners who have received the award twice are Patricia Yang and David Hu, who were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

With Andre Geim there is a scientist who is both Ig Nobel (2000) and Nobel Prize winner (2010).


Up until his death in December 2018, Roy Glauber acted for years as the broom master, who during the ceremony freed the stage from countless paper planes that were thrown at the award winners. In 2005 Glauber could not exercise this office because he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics .

In April 2019, an Ig Nobel Night with Marc Abrahams and Mark Benecke took place in Germany for the first time .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b About The Ig® Nobel Prizes website of the Annals of Improbable Research , accessed April 7, 2013
  2. Marc Abrahams: What Is This Ig? ( English ) 1999. Accessed October 16, 2012th
  3. Helen Pilcher: Laughter in the lab. In: Nature Online from October 1, 2004 (English).
  4. Ig Nobel Nominations website of the Annals of Improbable Research , accessed April 7, 2013 (English).
  5. www.improbable.com , with a link to the video of the 25th award ceremony.
  6. www.fas.harvard.edu: Memorial Hall (English).
  7. Improbable Research (Winners of the Ig® Nobel Prize) ( English ) improbable.com. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  8. Richard Friebe: Perverse mallard and human feet in vodka. Marc Abrahams, inventor of the Ig Nobel Prizes, comes - with a special guest - to the Tempodrom. In: Tagesspiegel (Berlin) from April 12, 2019.