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Watch the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony Live!

Kristie Nybo, PhD

Ten researchers will step up tonight to claim the most (or least) coveted prizes in all of science. Learn more...



It's that time of year again! No, not the Lab Grammies yet, but the presentation of awards for equally exceptional scientific talent. Tonight at 6:00 pm EST, in a ceremony you can watch live on the web, the Ig Nobel prize committee will announce the winners of this year's Ig Nobel Prizes.

These prizes are awarded by actual Nobel prize winners to researchers whose work "makes people laugh, then think." For example, the 2015 ceremony brought to our attention "a computer simulation which tests how many copulations per day were necessary to reach the reported reproductive outcome" needed by Moulay Ismael the Bloodthirsty, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco who sired 888 children between the years of 1697 and 1727. Other highlighted research in the past demonstrated exactly which body parts hurt worst when stung by bees (guess how they tested that?), how to stop a nosebleed with cured pork, and that owning a cat can alter your personality, decrease your motivation and intelligence, and lead to depression.

What will this year bring? You can find out tonight, either by attending the live ceremony in Sanders Theater on the Harvard University campus (a few tickets are still available) or by viewing the live stream video. The pre-ceremony concert begins at 5:40 pm EST and the actual ceremony starts at 6:00 pm.

This year will bring not only new winners but also a change in the tradition of presenting the awards as well. Recipients fly to Boston for the ceremony (covering their own costs), meet the Nobel prize winners, accept their prizes, and then offer short speeches of acceptance and explanations of their work. The committee organizers are strict about the time limit on those speeches, and up through last year they employed Miss Sweetie-Poo to enforce these limits. (You must check out the prize winners' reactions to her work!) "This year, 2016, we will experiment with a novel, non-Sweetie-Poo method, which will be revealed on stage," the ceremony organizers wrote. We can't wait to see what they've come up with.

So check out the broadcast tonight if you can. And if you miss it, have no fear. We will send you a full report on the Ig Nobel Prize winners soon in your daily newsletter.