Royal Museum to host 'improbable' science event

The annual Ig Nobel awards –given to celebrate 'unlikely' science each year around the time of the Nobel Awards in Sweden –will feature in an event at the Royal Museum, Chambers Street, Edinburgh on Sunday, 12 March.

Professor Richard Morris, Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, will be helping to introduce this unusual event that will help to launch National Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) week in the U.K.

Unusual, sometimes weird but always fun, the Ig Nobel celebrates that, like true love, the path of science ne'er runs straight. As the creator of these awards – given at the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University – Marc Abrahams describes them: "It is science that makes you laugh, and then makes you think".

The Ig Nobel tours have occurred throughout the world and met with great acclaim, and not a little bafflement. "They show science in its true colours, it is not just that it can be fun, but it is fun," according to Professor Morris, though he admits to some trepidation about items that are promised to be part of this year's show:

  • The Dutch "domino murder" victim sparrow
  • Courtship behaviour of ostriches toward humans under farming conditions in Britain
  • How Executives Overcome the Fear of Reading Books
  • Feline reactions to bearded men
  • What happens in a locust brain when the locust watches "Star Wars"
  • The Great Intelligence Debate ,in which each participant explains why he or she is the smartest person in Britain
  • The mini-opera "The Countess of Infinity"

In Edinburgh, the show will be compered by the creator of the Ig Nobel Awards, Marc Abrahams, and will feature Ig Nobel winners Pek Van Andel, Kees Moeliker, Charles Paxton, Claire Rind and Peter Simmons, Ben Wilson, and collaborators of winner Theo Gray, Max Whitby and Fiona Barclay. It will include "The Great Intelligence Debate" in which members of the audience will have a chance to prove they are most intelligent person on the planet – or at least in the room – and music will be provided by the Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group singing " The Count of Infinity".

The free event at the museum will last from 2.30-4pm and is co-sponsored by The Royal Society and Edinburgh Neuroscience. Entry is free but tickets are essential and are attainable by phoning 0131 247 4422. More information is available on the National Museums of Scotland website at


Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
    Published on All rights reserved.