Authority-Like Figures and Other Assorted Ignitaries, 2017

For a list of Nobel laureates, 24/7 Lecturers, and past Ig Nobel Prize winners who will also be part of this, see the 2017 ceremony web page.

Please enjoy this never-yet-complete list of 2017 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, hosts the weekly Improbable Research podcast, and writes newspaper columns and the lyrics for Ig Nobel mini-operas, including this year's The Last Second, and now and then a book.
Robin Abrahams
Robin Abrahams (Opera Co-Driector, and 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."
Richard Baguley
Richard Baguley (Social Media Butterfly Catcher) is a fellow who writes about all sorts of technology and science.
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.
Jackie Baum (Party Host) has from early on been creating delicious party foods and atmosphere for the new winners. That and other deliciousness is available to the world, at Trillfoods.
Ray Bauwens
Ray Bauwens (Opera Soloist) has performed opera and concert works around the world, earning praises from audiences and critics alike. This is his first Ig.
Mike Benveniste (Photographer)
Joost Bonsen
Joost Bonsen (Performing Scientist) is a man about town, especially the MIT-related portions of town. He has performed in many Igs.
John Walter Bratton (Opera music) Composed the music for "The Pearl and The Pumpkin", "Hodge Podge and Co.", and "Teddy Bears' Picnic". More recently (and more posthumously) he became Co-Composer of the 2017 Ig opera
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 (Stagehand) is a stage hand/manager in the Boston burlesque scene, a stage hand and performer in 2 Rocky Horror casts since 1996, and wears her geek with pride.
Mike Breslin (Sound)
Howard Cannon (Photographer)
Nick Carstoiu
Nicholas Carstoiu (Bandleader, Fanfares) 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.

Heidi Clark (Green Room Oracle).
Stephanie Clayman (Improbable Executive Assistant) is a professional actress, teacher, and coach. She was raised in a family of scientists, and is delighted to have found the Igs, where art, science, and humor all coexist in delightful chaos.
Jean Cummings
Jean Cummings (Chorus) is an Education Journalist.
Frank "Barefoot" Cunningham (Sound Recording) has been recording sound, barefoot, at the Ig since some time in the 20th century.
Chris Deter
Chris Deter (Major-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 26th Ig.
Ellen Duffy-Friend (Chorus) is a Registered Nurse, and is a Cantor at North American Martyr's Church
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).
Alexey Eliseev
Alexey Eliseev (Photographer) takes photographs, discreetly.
Maria Eliseeva
Maria Eliseeva (Human Curtain Rod) speaks Russian and English, works as a patent and trademark attorney and enjoys devoting some time to singing and playing the piano..
Jean Evans
Jean Evans (Keynote)
Maria Ferrante
Maria Ferrante (Opera Soloist & Music Director) enjoys an active career as recording artist, recitalist, orchestral soloist, and chamber musician, in the United States and abroad. This is her eighth year starring in an Ig Nobel opera premiere.
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.
April Grant (Liaison to Winners' Families) makes jam very well and plays banjo somewhat less well
Jan Hadland
Jan Hadland (Chorus) sings with the jazz group "Just In Time"
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.
Karen Hopkin
Karen Hopkin (Announcer, Opera Narrator), biochemist-turned-science writer, announces the opera, 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 27th Ig (at least).
Bill Hoston
Bill Hoston (Diplomat) is a Generalist problem solver with a PhD in Physics.
Coriana Hunt Swartz (Green Room Oracle) is a Costume Designer and Art Maker with Flat Earth Theatre. She also works in Social Media, in Consencus Building, and in Wing Construction.
John Jarcho
John Jarcho (Chorus) is a Cardiologist and an Editor at the New England Journal of Medicine
John Jenkins (Ig Informal Lectures 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 (at least) 26th Ig.
Arthur Kautz
Arthur Kautz (Stagehand) is a 5th generation engineer coming into his own geek. He has been prop master at Rebel Shakespeare, is active in FIRST robotics, and in realizing the potential of 3D printing.
Julia Kautz
Julia Kautz (Diplomat) has been Paper airplen Sweeper and Greeter of Ig Nobel Dignitaries. She plays the violin.
Karen Kautz
Karen Kautz (Diplomat) is an author, a registered nurse, and mother of 2 people mentioned elsewhere on this page.
Jeff Keller (Stagehand)
David Kessler
David "DK" Kessler (Co-Producer, Stage Manager) is knowledgable about theater, logistics, Scotland, sea chanteys, philosophy, and whisky.
Bruce Koplan
Bruce Koplan (Opera Bassist) is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital.
Eliza Kosoy
Eliza Kosoy (Major-Minordomo) does research in computational cognitive science at MIT and Harvard. She is really good at talking to the police and takes an incredible mug shot. She can bale any horse out of jail.
Julia Lunetta
Julia Lunetta (Minordomo, Improbable Webmaster) is a 16-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.
Anne Madden
Anne Madden (Human Curtain Rod) is a microbial ecologist who is sometimes known as "The Wasp Lady". In 2015 she was the LFHCfS Woman of the Year.
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 (NSFW 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 science writer transplanted from America to the UK.
Dakota McCoy (Chorus) studies Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, and can read/write Middle Kingdom Hieroglyphics.
Thomas Michel
Dr. Thomas Michel (Opera Impresario, Founder and maestro, Boston Squeezebox Ensemble) is a Cardiologist at Brigham & Women's Hospital, a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. and is half of the busking duo, "Yesterday's Bait". He has been in many Igs.
David Nickerson
David Nickerson (Sound) spends his time growing this son TJ, and his company Bay State Events, in that order. He's been working on the Igs since 2010
Maddie Pelz (Human Spotlight)
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.
Alex J.H. Phillips (Stagehand)
Giacomo Puccini (Opera music) Composer of "Madame Butterfly", "Tosca", and "La Rondine", and known for moving from the traditional romantic style of opera to a more realistic style in his later works. He died in 1924 and only later became Co-Composer of the 2017 Ig opera
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.
Dan Richards (Minordomo) makes a great chicken parmesan, and works as a software developer for Fidelity
Daniel Rosenberg
Daniel Rosenberg (Performing Scientist) 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.
Andrew Ross (Chorus) is a Graduate student in Machine learning at Harvard.
Louise Sacco
Louise Sacco (Grand Panjandrum of the Delegations) is co-founder and 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
Rob Sanders (Production Assistant & Stagehand) 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 many-manyth 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.
Abby Schiff
Abby Schiff (Chorus) is an MD-PhD student at Harvard Medical School and played Clarinet for the 2013 Ig opera.

Ted Sharpe
Ted Sharpe (Chorus) is a Computational Biologist at the Broad Institute and is half of the busking duo, Yesterday's Bait.
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.
Michael Skuhersky (Performing Scientist, Chorus) Dreams of digitizing/uplpoading human brains, and works on that possibility as a Graduate student in neuroscience at MIT.
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 many years, first as an MIT undergrad, then as a Google person, (where he built a digital waterfall, among other things), and then as...
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.
Scott TaylorE
Scott Taylor (Chorus) is a singer, trombonist, computer chip designer, co-owner of Stage Loft Repertory Theater, and mentor for a robotics team.
Persis Thorndike
Persis Thorndike (Asst to D.K., Diplomat) is a professional Field Interviewer and Data Collector. She is also a planner/coordinator for several science fiction conventions and enjoys wearing clothes with all the colors of the rainbow.
Peaco Todd
Peaco Todd (Minordomo) works as a political columnist/cartoonist and professor. Her work can be found at and
Pooja Usgaonkar
Pooja Usgaonkar (Minordomo) is a software engineer and musician interested in local sustainability.
Marsha Warren
Marsha Warren (Chorus) Works at MIT in the Office of the Provost.
Melissa Webster (Ig Glorious Liaison)
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.
Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams (Slides)
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.
Ben Wurgaft
Ben Wurgaft (Diplomat) is a noted, and constantly note-taking intellectual.
Yulia Yun
Yulia Yun (Opera 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.