Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Big Bang Theory” to be Honored by Hollywood Skeptics at Annual Awards Ceremony on September 10th

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Comedians and celebrities will present awards to TV shows promoting science and critical thinking at the sixth annual IIG awards ceremony to be held at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood, September 10, 2012.

The Independent Investigations Group (IIG), the international skeptical research and science advocacy organization, has announced the finalists to be honored in their sixth annual awards ceremony recognizing the promotion of science in popular arts. These include Neil deGrasse Tyson, as well as the TV series’ “The Big Bang Theory,” “South Park” and “Through the Wormhole.”

“The IIG Awards recognize mainstream entertainment for promoting critical thinking and scientific values, and dispelling myths and superstition," said James Underdown, Chair of the IIG. “This has become an important annual event at the intersection of science and entertainment,” he added.

The awards presentation will be held on September 10th at the Steve Allen Theater at the Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles at 4773 Hollywood Blvd, with a reception starting at 7 PM in the evening. Admission is free, although donations to help support the event are encouraged.

Presenters of the awards for 2012 include celebrities Matt Kirshen (Last Comic Standing), Frank Conniff (Cinematic Titanic, Mystery Science Theater), Kelly Carlin (A Carlin Home Companion), actor/comedian Ron Lynch (Adventure Time, Bob’s Burgers), editor and comedian Emery Emery (The Aristocrats, The Green Room with Paul Provenza), and others to be announced. Musical entertainment will be provided by singer-songwriter-composer Gary Stockdale. Also in attendance will be representatives of the winning shows, VIP guests, and supporters and Friends of the Center for Inquiry. Members of the press are also welcome.

IIG Award winners for 2012 include the CBS series “The Big Bang Theory,” the Comedy Central TV Series “South Park”, the Science Channel’s “Through the Wormhole” starring Morgan Freeman, Tim Minchin for his concert tour and numerous network television appearances, including The Jimmy Kimmel Show, and finally the website

A special honor bestowed by the IIG for a career devoted to educating the public through entertainment media is induction into the IIG’s “Houdini Hall of Honor” (named after Harry Houdini). This year’s inductee is Neil deGrasse Tyson. Dr. Tyson is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. Tyson already has an impressive resume in making science more accessible via the Nova and Nova Science Now programs on PBS. He’s adding to this resume by hosting a sequel to Carl Sagan's “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”. The new series is scheduled to air beginning in 2013. Tyson’s name will join Harry Houdini, Carl Sagan, James Randi, Isaac Asimov and others on a perpetual plaque on display at CFI.

Also being recognized this year is the series Ancient Aliens on the History Channel. This program will receive the humorously-named, “Truly Terrible Television Award,” given each year to a program that promotes pseudoscience or belief in the supernatural.

Previous winners of IIG Awards include Psych (USA Network), The Simpsons (Fox TV), Eureka (Syfy Channel), Mythbusters, The Mentalist (CBS), Phenomenon (NBC), Dr. Dean Edell, and others.

Previous winners of the Truly Terrible Television (TTTV) Award include Ghost Hunters (SyFy), The Montel Williams show (CBS), Psychic Kids (A&E), the Creationist movie Expelled (Premise Media Corp), and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

For more information on the IIG Awards, previous winners and this year’s ceremony, see:

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David Richards
The Independent Investigations Group
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