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Marc Abrahams

Creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes
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Biography

Marc Abrahams is the editor and co-founder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). The magazine publishes both genuine research and satire, distilled into articles that first make people LAUGH, then make people THINK.

The Washington Post called Abrahams "the nation's guru of academic grunge." The Journal of the American Medical Association called him "the Puck of Science." He has been called many other things. He is the father and master of ceremonies of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony, honoring individuals whose achievements that first make people LAUGH, then make people THINK. The Prizes are handed out by genuine Nobel Laureates at a gala ceremony held each October at Harvard University and broadcast on NPR and on the Internet.

The magazine's editorial board of more than 50 distinguished scientists includes eight Nobel Laureates, IQ record holder Marilyn Vos Savant, and a convicted felon. Abrahams is author of the new book The Ig Nobel Prizes and also edits the web site WWW.IMPROBABLE.COM and the monthly e-newsletter mini-AIR. He also writes a weekly column, called "Improbable Research," for the British newspaper The Guardian.

Abrahams also writes for other publications on the topics of science, technology and medicine. He wrote the back-page humor column for the late, lamented computer magazine Byte and a monthly back-page humor column for the engineering magazine Design News, and has been a commentator for ABC-TV's World News Now and on public radio.

He edited (and wrote much of) the science humor anthologies The Best of Annals of Improbable Research, Der Einfluss von Erdnussbutter auf die Erdrotation, La Scienza Impossibile, and Sex As a Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble (and other improbabilities).

From 1990-1994, Abrahams was the editor of The Journal of Irreproducible Results. In 1994, after the magazine's publisher decided to abandon the magazine, the founders and entire editorial staff (1955-1994) of the Journal resigned, and immediately created AIR.

He also frequently performs lectures that show both the funny side AND the importance of science, medicine, and technology.

Abrahams graduated from Harvard College with a degree in applied mathematics. He subsequently spent several years developing optical character recognition computer systems (including a reading machine for the blind), and later founded Wisdom Simulators, Inc., a creator of educational software.

Topics

The Ig Nobel Prizes: The Fine Line Between Sound and Silly Science

The Taxonomy of Barney and the Future of Science Education

Sex, Drugs and Peanut Butter: Advances in Improbable Research

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