Current Magazine

Ig Nobels Award Dead Salmon Researchers, Ponytail Physicists

Posted on the 21 September 2012 by Periscope @periscopepost
The Ig Nobels were awarded on Thursday night. The Ig Nobels were awarded on Thursday night. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The winners of the 22nd annual Ig Nobel prizes gathered in Cambridge, Mass. on Thursday night to recognize the achievements of those scientists whose insatiable curiosity has done little to nothing for the advancement of human kind.

Physicists who calculated the “balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail” stood cheek by jowl with researchers who studied “dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee”. A team that who looked for and found brain activity in dead salmon shared the stage with scientists who found that chimpanzees could recognize other chimps just from pictures of their bottoms alone. It was, all in all, a great night for science.

The winners:

  • PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE: Anita Eerland, Rolf Zwaan and Tulio Guadalupe for their study “Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller”.
  • PEACE PRIZE: The SKN Company of Russia for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.
  • ACOUSTICS PRIZE: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada of Japan for creating the SpeechJammer,  a machine that disrupts a person’s speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.
  • NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford of the US for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.
  • CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Johan Pettersson of Sweden and Rwanda for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people’s hair turned green.
  • LITERATURE PRIZE: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
  • PHYSICS PRIZE: Joseph Keller of the US, and Raymond Goldstein, Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball of the UK for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.
  • FLUID DYNAMICS PRIZE: Rouslan Krechetnikov for the US, Russia and Canada and Hans Mayer of the US for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.
  • ANATOMY PRIZE: Frans de Waal of the Netherlands and the US and Jennifer Pokorny of the US for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their bottoms.
  • MEDICINE PRIZE: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti of France for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies on how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.

The 22nd annual Ig Nobel prize awards:

More in science

  • News species of monkey found with enormous blue bottoms
  • Vast reservoir of greenhouse gas discovered under Arctic
  • Cannabis usage can make you stupider

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Paperblog Hot Topics