Marc AbrahamsAuthor, Scientist, and Founder of Ig Nobel Prize
“The nation’s guru of academic grunge” is how The Washington Post once referred to Marc Abrahams. A perfect description for a scientist who dedicates his life to the promotion of improbable (be it good, bad, or otherwise) research in all scientific fields. Abrahams, who has a degree in applied mathematics, is editor and co-founder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR) and author of This is Improbable Too and other books. He also founded and heads the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, first held in 1991.
At the ceremony, held at Harvard University, prizes are awarded for scientific achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The Improbable Research editorial board of more than 50 distinguished scientists includes many Nobel Laureates, several Ig Nobel Prize winners, IQ record holder Marilyn Vos Savant, and a convicted felon.
Marc presents an annual Improbable Research tour of the UK, Denmark and Sweden and presents a special show every year at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Marc has written the librettos for nineteen science mini-operas that premiered as part of the Ig Nobel Prize ceremonies. At earlier ceremonies, Igs were presented for a British study into Murphy’s Law, a demonstration that falling toast does indeed often fall on the buttered side, and, this year, for Dutch Literature discovering the word "huh?" (or its equivalent) seems to exist in every human language — and for not being quite sure why.
The ceremony itself is also hilarious, involving a motley entrance parade, colorful disguises, and witty speeches lasting a maximum of 30 seconds. All prizes are presented by real Nobel Laureates, who generally don’t hesitate to take part in the traditional mini-opera that is performed at each ceremony.