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8 March 2012

Flatulent fish and 'new' McGonagall poems - Ig Nobel Awards return to Dundee

The Ig Nobel Awards Show - the annual celebration of unique and imaginative research from across the world - will return to the University of Dundee next week.

The hugely entertaining evening takes place at the Dalhousie Building on Saturday, 17th March, when organiser Marc Abrahams - a columnist for the Guardian newspaper will review the past year's improbable research and introduce award winners.

To mark St. Patrick's Day, a special investigation will be held to discover whether William McGonagall, Dundee's most famous poet, was actually Irish rather than Scottish. A free wine and Guinness reception will follow the event.

Ig Nobel is the awards ceremony like no other, and it honours achievements that make people laugh and think at the same time. By taking an alternative look at the world of academic research, Ig Nobel Awards are intended to spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

Some of this year's award winners will reveal important, life-changing discoveries that everyone should know about, including:

  • Why flatulent fish are the talk of the oceans.
  • How a sushi condiment could save their life.
  • Where the best place to sit in the cinema is.

"We're delighted that the Ig Nobel Awards will be returning to Dundee again this year," said Dr Jon Urch, Public Outreach Co-ordinator at the University.

"The Ig Nobel awards truly are a phenomenon, and help to buck negative stereotypes about research. It helps spread the message that research can be funny, inclusive and thought-provoking at the same time.

"A fantastic line-up of speakers means we're sure of an evening that combines life-saving inventions and death-defying acts. As many Scots would probably like to disown McGonagall as claim him as their own, and we'll attempt to solve the puzzle of his origins whilst also hearing one of his recently discovered poems that may not have been performed in over 100 years."

The event is open to the public, and tickets cost 5 for adults and 3 for concessions. They can be purchased online at, by calling 01382 386669, from the Revealing Research office on the 5th Floor of the University's Tower Building, or by emailing

The show may not be suitable for children under-8. Overflow theatres - using a live video link to the main auditorium - may be in use to accommodate the wide interest in the event. The event will last around 90 minutes.

The Ig Nobel Awards show takes place in the Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, University of Dundee, at 6pm, Saturday 17th March

Updates on the event will be posted on the @revealsresearch Twitter account with the #ignobeldundee hashtag.

For media enquiries contact:
Grant Hill
Press Officer
University of Dundee
Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384768
MOBILE: 07854 953277