Ig Nobel Prizes Celebrate the Weird and Hilarious in Research
Career Path : Education News
A few days ago we published an article about funny research papers and how academia delights in the (still too few) instances of humour within research. This week #Academicinsults is trending on Twitter, so we thought we’d introduce readers to the ultra-nerdy annual celebration of hilarious academic discoveries in science—The Ig Nobel Prizes.
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people laugh, then think. Actual Nobel prize winners give away Ig Nobel Prizes to researchers for essentially doing hilarious things in the name of science and research. One of the presenters is Andre Geim, who in fact won the Nobel Prize for his work on inventing graphene. He is also a winner of an Ig Nobel Prize for the successful levitation of a frog. The 2014 Ig Nobel Prize winner was Dr. Elena Bodnar, who invented a brassiere which can quickly convert into a face mask—one for the wearer and one for a needy bystander.
Some of the most humorous winners from this year and years past include:
- The 2008 Medical Prize went to Brian Witcombe and Dan Meyer for their report “Sword Swallowing and Its Side Effects”
- 2006 Ornithology Prize went to U of California professors for studying why woodpeckers don’t get headaches.
- 2014 Biology Prize went to a study which concluded that when dogs defecate, they prefer to align their body with Earth’s north-south geomagnetic field lines.
- 2014 Arctic Science Prize for testing how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.