Authority-Like Figures and Other Assorted Ignitaries, 2014

For a list of Nobel laureates, 24/7 Lecturers, and past Ig Nobel Prize winners who will also be part of this, see the ceremony web page.

Please enjoy this never-yet-complete list of 2014 Ig Nobel ignitaries, literati, glitterati, pseudo-intellectuals, quasi-pseudo-intellectuals, cogno-intellectuals and assorted others who in some way are/were assisting in bringing the Ceremony into reality.
(NOTE: ** indicates name is/was/will be misspelled)

Marc Abrahams
Marc Abrahams (Producer/Director, Master of Ceremonies, Writer) founded the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. He also edits the magazine Annals of Improbable Research and its videos, and writes newspaper columns and the lyrics for Ig Nobel mini-operas, including The Blonsky Device, and now and then a book.
Robin Abrahams
Robin Abrahams (Lurking Presence) writes the popular "Miss Conduct" social advice column for the Boston Globe Sunday magazine and blogs at She is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind Over Manners.
Dany Adams
Dany Adams (Diplomat) is Associate Research Professor at the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology. She gave one of the first 24/7 Lectures, which culminated in a seven-word definition of 'biology': "If it can get infected, it's biology."
Henry Akona
Henry Akona (Opera Director, Arranger, and Orchestrator) is a director and composer especially known for his productions of the plays of Václav Havel and his scores for adaptations of science fiction novels including Cat's Cradle, The Lathe of Heaven, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
John Armstrong
John Armstrong (Minordomo) is living proof that even the best of genetics and circumstances can produce unintended results. If it can be built, John can build it. If it can be eaten, John will eat it. If the answer is no, John will ignore it.
Richard Baguley
Richard Baguley (NSA Courtesy Webcast Tool)
John Barrett
John Barrett (Referee) is a retired educator who stays active as a baseball umpire and soccer referee for high school and private leagues in Eastern Massachusetts.

Ludwig van Beethoven (opera music) wrote Beethoven's First Symphony and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and also other symphonies, and much other music, and then he died, and then he became a co-author of The Blonsky Device.
Mike Benveniste (Photographer)
Ben Biggs
Ben Biggs (Minordomo)
Joost Bonsen
Joost Bonsen (Performing Chemist) is a man about town, especially the MIT-related portions of town. He has performed, chemically, in many Igs.
Jim Bredt
Dr. Jim Bredt (Human Spotlight) was a co-founder of Z Corporation and co-inventor of full-color 3D Printing. He taught freshman chemistry at MIT and drew a cartoon textbook on thermodynamics, and invented the concept of the human spotlight. He currently works as a materials scientist for 1366 Technologies, a solar startup in Lexington.
Linda Brennan
Linda Brennan (Assistant Stage Manager) inda Brennan is a stage hand/manager in the Boston burlesque scene, a stage hand and performer in 2 Rocky Horror casts for 17 1/2 years, and wears her geek with pride." C C C D
Nick Carstoiu
Nicholas Carstoiu (Bandleader, Singer, and Keyboardist) hoc composer/stream o' consciousness improviser, BMI grant winner and member, former songwriter/bandmember/published recording artist of The Freeborne (album "Peak Impressions" now owned/published by Smithsonian Folkways), Mister Moto, The Twins Love School, and The Penny Wise Guys. Also a non-practicing licensed attorney.
Trevor Chamberlain
Trevor Chamberlain (Camera Crew) is a Boston based director, cinematographer, and editor with over a decade of experience in the film/video production industry. He has been on the Ig camera crew since 2007.

Frank "Barefoot" Cunningham (Sound Recording) has been recording sound, barefoot, at the Ig since some time in the 20th century.
Chris Deter
Chris Deter (Minordomo) is a thespian trapped inside a systems analyst's body, who likes The Great Outdoors, playing video games, and thinking about outer space.
Gary Dryfoos
Gary Dryfoos (Majordomo) is a scholar, a gentleman, and a majordomo. His majordomic qualifications include intensive specialized training, and owning his own tuxedo. This is his 22th Ig.
Stanley Eigen
Stanley Eigen (Lurking Presence) has been with the Igs since the beginning. In addition to serving as Commutative Editor for the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, he is a math professor at Northeastern University (and yes, his name really is Eigen). This is his 23nd Ig.
Alexey Eliseev (Photographer) takes photographs, discreetly.
Maria Ferrante
Maria Ferrante (Opera Soloist) enjoys an active career as recording artist, recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician, in the United States and abroad. This is her sixth year at the Igs. She recently sang at TEDx CERN.
David Fisher
David Fisher (Opera Cellist) graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music before going academic and becoming a physician-scientist. He is a melanoma researcher and Chairman of Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Jaclyn Freedman
Jaclyn Freedman (Enforcer)
Holly Gettings
Holly Gettings (Lighting & Technology (Special Thanks)) has for many years been artfully directing photons towards their destined spots on the the Ig Nobel stage.
Ray Glauber
Roy Glauber (Official Sweeper) is Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University. In 2005, he was awarded a Nobel Prize in physics. For ten years prior to that, he swept paper airplanes from the stage at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony; he has not ceased to continue this tradition.
Jean Berko-Gleason
Jean Berko Gleason (Welcome Welcome Speaker, Goodbye Goodbye Speaker) is professor emerita of psychology at Boston University. She is the inventor of the Wug Test. She owns a tiara.
David Gootenberg
David Gootenberg (Opera Percussionist) is a 2nd year HST MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School. He is sure that performing in the Igs will make his parents much more proud than his previous accomplishment, which was DNA-sequencing poop.
Charles-François Gounod (opera music) wrote the Funeral March of a Marionette (which eventually became Alfred Hitchcock's theme song) and many operas, oratorios, and much other music, and then he died, and then he became a co-author of The Blonsky Device.
Katherine Griffin
Katherine Griffin (Improbable Facilitator) oversees some of the logistics for the Igs and for Ig-related matters beyond the ceremony. She also has a love-hate relationship with the wearing of flip-flops in the summer.

Jenny Gutbezahl
Jenny Gutbezahl (Information Apparatchik) is delighted to be involved with the Ig Nobels for the fourth consecutive year. Her first year, she also co-starred, silently, in her pajamas in the opera. When not herding Nobel laureates, Jenny enjoys taking long walks on the beach, arguing about the appropriate condiments for soft pretzels, and maintaining homeostasis.

Hunter Heinlen
Hunter Heinlen (Lighting & Technology) is a gentleman of mystery, despite and because of his easy and frequent familiarity with brilliant lighting. He knows how to work diplomatically with dim bulbs.
Elizabeth Henske
Elizabeth Henske (Opera Flautist) studied the flute at Yale University. She is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Center for LAM Research and Clinical Care at the Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Edgar Herwick
Edgar B. Herwick III (Microphone Monkey) produces for and talks on WGBH Radio and TV by day. By night, well, perhaps it's best we not get into all that here. He's thrilled to be making his Ig debut.
Deborah Henson-Conant (Pre-ceremony Solo Concert) is a Grammy-nominated jazz harpist, composer, and author. Her Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Dress has been performed with many orchestras and a strapless evening dress. She is the curator of the Museum of Burnt Food. This is her nth Ig Nobel ceremony.
David Holzman
David Holzman (Photographer) has had multiple shows of classic car photos, and sells photo art at His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Smithsonian, JNCI & elsewhere. He has a remarkable speaking voice.
Karen Hopkin
Karen Hopkin (Parade Announcer, Opera Narrator), biochemist-turned-science writer, announces the opera and the Win-a-Date contest, and all sorts of things. At the 2004 Ig, Hopkin led the musical tribute to Daisuke Inoue, the inventor of Karaoke, who was awarded that year's peace prize. She is co-author of the textbook Essential Cell Biology. In her spare time, Hopkin bakes pies and collects the signatures of Nobel Laureates on a 1950s-style autograph dog. This is her 23rd Ig.
John Jenkins (Ig Informal Lectures (Saturday) Coordinator) is manager of the MIT Press Bookstore. This is his nth Ig.

Susan Kany
Susan Kany (Diplomat) has, for more than 20 years, been perfecting her diplomatic skills within Harvard's administration.
Alice Shirrell Kaswell (Writer) is a staff writer for the Annals of Improbable Research. This is her 23nd Ig.
Martin Kelly
Martin Kelly (Opera Soloist) is an award winning tenor who has performed with Boston Baroque, The Cathedral Music society of Washington, DC, and many other prestigious groups from Nebraska to Vancouver to Chicago.

Dave Kessler
David "DK" Kessler (Co-Producer and Stage Manager) is knowledgable about theater, logistics, Scottish history, and whisky.
Eliza Kosoy
Eliza Kosoy (Minordomo) enjoys doing her math homework while hiding from campus security. She has recently picked up a hobby of hitch-hiking, she hopes to confirm that the answer to the universe is indeed 42.
Philip Lima
Philip Lima (Opera Soloist) has appeared as featured soloist in opera and concert in Germany, Italy, South Korea , and across the U. S. His performances regularly are marked by critical praise.
Chelsea Long
Chelsea Long (Assistant Opera Director)
Julia Lunetta
Julia Lunetta (Minordomo, Improbable Webmaster) is a 15-year veteran minordomo. In addition to being a professional geek, she is also a semi-professional actress and musician, and an amateur human. When not shuttling people around the Sanders stage, she sings around NYC with Three Dollar Bill, a queer a cappella cabaret group.
Lois Malone (Artwork & Logos) drew "The Stinker", the logo of the Annals of Improbable Research and of the Ig Nobel ceremony. Formerly at MIT, she now paints, sculpts, and designs houses in the mountains of New Mexico.
William J. Maloney
William J. Maloney (V-Chip Monitor, Prominent New York Attorney) will also be appearing as Himself.
Lauren Maurer
Lauren Maurer (Master of E-Bookery) holds an SM in Science Writing from MIT, and then helped invent the first e-book format which can be read by ALL major e-readers, used in the e-book editions of the Annals of Improbable Research. She's also a freelance science writer in Colorado.
Thomas Michel
Dr. Thomas Michel (Founder and maestro, Boston Squeezebox Ensemble, and opera accordionist) plays accordion and is Co-Director of the Leder Program in Human Biology and Translational Professor of Medicine (Biochemistry) and Federman Chair in Medical Education at Harvard Medical School. He has been in many Igs.
Carol Morton
Carol Morton (Press Wrangler) is a freelance science journalist who has covered the Igs (and other science) for the Boston Globe and San Francisco Chronicle. She contributes regularly to Multiple Sclerosis Discovery Forum, Pain Research Forum and other news sites.
Alex Nemiroski
Alex Nemiroski (Minordomo) is a bag of mostly water that holds a postdoc in chemistry at Harvard, where it works on nanotechnology and medical devices. It also enjoys performing in and choreographing for musical theater.
Bruce Petschek
Bruce Petschek (Videographer) is a freelance videographer. His production company, Seven Generations Video, has been videotaping the Igs for as long as anyone can remember and he is the chief editor of the Ig Nobel collection series on YouTube. His three children have all grown up working on the Ig Nobel video production crew since they were 6 years old and despite this formative experience they have all grown into fairly well-adjusted adults.
Anna Phillips (onstage lurking presence, and Internet parties coordinator) lurks on stage, mending things that are about to go awry — things which, thanks to her watchfulness, generally do not. Naturalists have reported spotting her in Australia, somewhat seasonally.
Gus Rancatore
Gus Rancatore (Diplomat) is the proprietor of Toscanini's Ice Cream. In 2007 he invented a new ice cream flavor to honor Mayu Yamamoto, who that year won the Ig Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering how to extract vanillin from cow dung.
Miles Rind
Miles Rind (Opera Soloist) began his singing career while a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Chicago. Since obtaining his doctorate, he has become a frequent performer with opera companies and concert organizations across New England.
Daniel Rosenberg
Daniel Rosenberg (Performing Chemist, and opera soloist) prepares and performs demonstrations for all the chemistry classes and many of the physics classes in the Harvard Science Center, and is a teaching fellow for many Harvard chemistry classes. He fathered two Miss Sweetie Poos, a Human Spotlight and a sweeper. He has led the performing chemist in many an Ig.
Katrina Rosenberg
Katrina Rosenberg (Human Spotlight) is a junior at Northeastern University. This is her manyth Ig.
Sylvia Rosenberg
Sylvia Rosenberg (Minordomo) is a former Miss Sweetie Poo, and a current freshman at Harvard College.
Gioachino Antonio Rossini (opera music) wrote 39 operas, including The Barber of Seville and La Gazza Ladra, and much other music, and then he died, and then he became a co-author of The Blonsky Device.
Louise Sacco
Louise Sacco (Grand Panjandrum of the Delegations) is the Permanent Acting Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Bad Art. She is also an usher at Red Sox games in Fenway Park.
Rob Sanders (Lighting & Technology) is still amazed that the simple statement "I love the Igs," has somehow ensured him perpetual employment, albeit for only 2 days a year. This is his 17th Ig.
Don Schechter
Don Schechter (Camera Crew) is the founder of Charles River Media Group and a part-time lecturer at Tufts University in Film. His secretive past involves music composition and theremin performance.
Cody Signore
Cody Signore (Camera Crew) is an Assistant Director and Cinematographer with Charles River Media Group and has worked on commercials, narratives, documentary films and a few of his own feature film involving cowboys and bounty hunters.
Miles Smith (Sound Recording) is a freelance audio engineer based in the Boston area, is currently on staff at WGBH Radio, is chief engineer for the Spanish Beisbol Network, works with "This American Life", and has had a hand in three Grammy-nominated albums. Most important, he has been involved in many, many Igs.
Quentin Smith
Quentin Smith (Director of Improbable Engineering) has been playing with wires down the street at MIT for the past 6 years, first as an MIT undergrad, now as a Google person. His latest project is to build a digital waterfall. In his spare time, he works on cool video projects with MIT Student Cable.
Catherine Quick Spingler
Catherine Quick Spingler (Opera Costumer) During her tenure as Costume Designer at Clark University she designed the Main Stage productions.
Ben Steinhorn
Ben Steinhorn (Opera Bassoonist) is an MD-PhD student in the Health Sciences and Technology program at Harvard Medical School. He is doing his PhD work in the laboratory of Prof. Thomas Michel and is interested in mechanotransduction in the heart.
Naomi Stephen
Naomi Stephen (Press wrangler), between academic administrative and teaching careers, and being in the Ig for this, her umpteenth pluse one time, has had lots of experience with all kinds of wrangling.
Geri Sullivan
Geri Sullivan (Artwork & Logos, IgBill Design and Layout, Slide Show) is a graphic designer at her own firm, PROmote Communications, and is the design and layout director of the Annals of Improbable Research.
Sharada Sundaram-Senders
Sharada Sundaram-Senders (Miss Sweetie-Poo) is passionate about dinosaurs and has a particular affection for Parasauralophus. She is an avid singer and storyteller who has already memorized Tom Lehrer's "The Elements."
Vaughn Tan
Vaughn Tan (Diplomat) recently obtained some sort of doctoral degree from Harvard. He studies and experiments with coffee, among other things, from his new base at University College London, and commutes back to be at the Ig.
Peaco Todd
Peaco Todd (Minordomo) works as a political columnist/cartoonist and professor. Her work can be found at and
Tom Ulrich
Tom Ulrich (Press Wrangler) made his on-stage debut during the 2002 IgNobel Ceremony, and has stayed off the stage ever since. He translates science into English for Boston Children's Hospital and on his blog, You've Got Some Science On You.
Corky White
Corky White (Diplomat) is a food anthropologist, based at Boston University. She presently is engaged in research on urban social spaces and social change in Japan, particularly on the history of the cafe. She is perhaps the world's greatest professional scholar of Japanese coffee culture.
Eric Workman
Eric Workman (Prize, Props and Scenery Creation, Performing Props Master) creates unusual things at Boston's Museum of Science. He has been designing and building Ig Nobel Prizes for well over a decade.
Patrick Yacono
Patrick Yacono (Opera Pianist) is a researcher at the Harvard Medical School and an active freelance pianist in the Boston area. This is his fourth Ig as a member of the Boston Squeezebox Ensemble, recently adding his Bulgarian bagpipe (squeezebag) to the mix.
Yulia Yun
Yulia Yun (Opera Rehearsal Pianist) is a first prize winner at the Uzbekistan National Piano Competition and has since studied piano with Sergei Polusmiak, Eda Mazo Shlyam, and Ludmilla Lifson. She holds degrees in Music and French.