9/30/2011 7:08 PM
Last night, dozens of scientists from around the world gathered in Boston for the 21st annual Ig Nobel Awards, a ceremony dedicated to honoring unique scientific achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think.”
“The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology,” a representative from Improbable Research, the organization that administers the Ig Nobel prizes said in a statement.
This year, Japanese scientists earned an Ig Nobel award in chemistry for developing a wasabi alarm, while researchers Daryll Gwynne and David Rentz were honored for discovering that certain kinds of beetles attempt to get freaky with certain kinds of beer bottles. Arturas Zuokas, of Lithuania, earned an Ig Nobel peace prize for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank. Check out the full list of Ig Nobel winners below.
Though the research is strange, it isn’t completely without merit. All Ig Nobel nominees have had their research published in scientific journals and some, like Gwynne and Rentz’s beetle research, highlight serious conservation issues.
“I think it’s important to communicate to non-scientists the relevance of what I do. And humor adds to that,” Gwynne told FoxNews.com. "We've all watched those National Geographic specials, and frequently humor is used as a hook to get the viewer’s attention to communicate an important message. I think it promotes critical thinking about science and the power of natural selection.”
Winners of the 2011 Ig Nobel Awards
Physiology: Anna Wilkinson, Natalie Sebanz, Isabella Mandl, and Ludwig Huber for their study "No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise."
Chemistry: Japan’s Makoto Imai, Naoki Urushihata, Hideki Tanemura, Yukinobu Tajima, Hideaki Goto, Koichiro Mizoguchi, and Junichi Murakami received props for inventing a wasabi alarm.
Medicine: Matthew Lewis, Peter Snyder, Robert Feldman, Robert Pietrzak, David Darby, Paul Maruff along with Mirjam Tuk, Debra Trampe, and Luk Warlop for discovering that a strong need to urinate causes people to make better decisions about some things and worse decisions about others.
Psychology: Karl Halvor Teigen for trying to understand why people sigh.
Literature: John Perry for his Theory of Structured Procrastination, which states: “To be a high achiever, always work on something important, using it as a way to avoid doing something that's even more important.”
Biology: Daryll Gwynne and David Rentz for discovering that certain kinds of beetles attempt to mate with certain kinds of Australian beer bottles.
Physics: Philippe Perrin, Cyril Perrot, Dominique Deviterne, Bruno Ragaru, and Herman Kingma for determining why discus throwers become dizzy, and why hammer throwers don't.
Mathematics: Doomsday predictors Dorothy Martin, Pat Robertson, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Lee Jang Rim, Credonia Mwerinde, and Harold Camping for teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations when predicting the end of the world.
Peace: Arturas Zuokas for demonstrating that the problem of illegally parked luxury cars can be solved by running them over with an armored tank.
Public Safety: John Senders for conducting a series of experiments in which a visor repeatedly fell into a driver’s face, momentarily blinding him or her.
Photo: Ig Nobel Awards Mascot
Posted by Christy
9/30/2011 7:08 PM |