Ig Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is an award given for academic, cultural, or scientific advances every year. Another award called the Ig Nobel Prize is similar, except it is a parody that is awarded to more unusual achievements in scientific research. The name is a pun based on the word ignoble: an uncommon word that means not noble/common. Since 1991, the award has been given out by the Annals of Improbable Research, a scientific humor magazine. Every autumn, 10 achievements are awarded at a ceremony in Harvard. Some notable past winners, and some of my favorites, are:


Anita Eerland, Rolf Zwaan, and Tulio Guadalupe for researching how “Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller” (Psychology, 2012)


Kiyoshi Mabuchi, Kensei Tanaka, Daichi Uchijima and Rina Sakai for their research on the friction between a shoe, a banana, and the floor. (Physics, 2014)


Marc-Antoine Fardin for researching the question “Can a Cat Be Both a Solid and a Liquid?” (Physics, 2017)


Matthew Rockloff and Nancy Greer for seeing how someone’s willingness to gamble is affected by contact with a crocodile. (Economics, 2017)


There are many more interesting winners. Here’s a link to a list of all of them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ig_Nobel_Prize_winners

As significant achievements and advancements are awarded (sorry for the alliteration) with a Nobel Prize, other noteworthy and stranger achievements are awarded with a Ig Nobel Prize: A prize to celebrate some of the weirdness in the world.

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