Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, the offbeat yearly event, celebrating somewhat strange scientific studies from around the world, is the brainchild of Marc Abrahams, editor of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR).
Scientist winners will take the stage for the 26th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony to accept accolades for their gloriously weird research at Harvard University in Boston.
The presentation is officially identified as both the 26th and the first of its kind because Abrahams said, “every year is a new beginning.” The ceremony will be web-cast live on Live Science starting at 5:40 pm ET.
Like the other mainstream Nobel Prizes, the Ig Nobels for science are awarded for outstanding achievements, however, the science they showcase is unusual.
The 2015 winner of the Ig Nobel in biology attached weighted sticks to chickens’ backsides, to investigate how certain types of bipedal dinosaurs with long tails might have walked. Chemistry winners that year managed to partially unboil a hard-boiled egg, while the winner for physiology and entomology submitted to honeybee stings on 25 locations on his body, to find out which regions were the most painful.
Even the dress code for this event reflects its weird tone, recommendations on the AIR website include “suit of armor”, “your old wedding gown” and “long-johns or lab-coat”. A 2015 winner in physics wore a toilet seat around his neck, a nod to his research on how long it takes mammal species of different sizes to empty their bladders.
Every year, Nobel laureates hand out Ig Nobel Prizes, the 2016 presenters will include past winners of Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Physics and Medicine. In a ‘Igbill’, a theatrical Playbill-like outline of the evening; the event is divided into two parts: “Pointless Preamble”, all activities up until the awards presentations and “Everything Else,” which includes the awards, introductions of past winners and, intriguingly, “Other Things.”
An especially novel addition to the Ig Nobels this year is an anniversary celebration commemorating a wedding that took place at the Ig Nobel ceremony in 2001, between two NASA scientists.
Other scientist guests will be delivering 24/7 Lectures, in which they describe their science in two challenging presentations: one that lasts 24 seconds and one made up of only seven words that “anyone can understand,” according to the IgBill.
The festivities will also feature a premiere performance of the original miniopera “The Last Second,” a nod to the 2016 ceremony’s designated theme: Time. Written by Abrahams — his 21st libretto for the Ig Nobel ceremony — it describes a stealthy scheme to add a leap second to all the clocks of the world, for nefarious criminal gain.