All in the name of research

The IG Nobel prize ceremony was held again and this time round the entries as usual never failed to amuse or tickle. The equivalent of the Nobel Prize, this is awarded to interesting research done in the scientific communities.

Such research are published in peer reviewed journals.

Topping the Ig Nobel peace prize was the research by the US Air Force Wright Laboratory for instigating research and development on a chemical weapon that could provoke widespread homosexual behaviour amongst the enemy.

Wonder what that will do to the troops’ morale and fighting ability. The fearsome spartans were rumoured to have very close relationships so this might just backfire.

Meanwhile here’s the list.

2007 Ig Nobel Winners

Medicine – Brian Witcombe, of Gloucestershire Royal NHS Foundation Trust, UK, and Dan Meyer for their probing work on the health consequences of swallowing a sword.

Physics – A US-Chile team who ironed out the problem of how sheets become wrinkled.

Biology – Dr Johanna van Bronswijk of the Netherlands for carrying out a creepy crawly census of all of the mites, insects, spiders, ferns and fungi that share our beds.

Chemistry – Mayu Yamamoto, from Japan, for developing a method to extract vanilla fragrance and flavouring from cow dung.

Linguistics – A University of Barcelona team for showing that rats are unable to tell the difference between a person speaking Japanese backwards and somebody speaking Dutch backwards.

Literature – Glenda Browne of Blue Mountains, Australia, for her study of the word “the”, and how it can flummox those trying to put things into alphabetical order.

Peace – The US Air Force Wright Laboratory for instigating research and development on a chemical weapon that would provoke widespread homosexual behaviour among enemy troops.

Nutrition – Brian Wansink of Cornell University for investigating the limits of human appetite by feeding volunteers a self-refilling, “bottomless” bowl of soup.

Economics – Kuo Cheng Hsieh of Taiwan for patenting a device that can catch bank robbers by dropping a net over them.

Aviation – A National University of Quilmes, Argentina, team for discovering that impotency drugs can help hamsters to recover from jet lag.

For more visit the IG website.

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