Researchers licking stones, counting nose hairs and boredom: scientific studies “first make you laugh and then make you think” are supposed to be in the USA “Ig Nobel Prizes” been awarded (spoken “ignore”, which translated means something like dishonorable). The traditionally bizarre gala was held as an online event for the fourth time in a row. The fun prizes were awarded for the 33rd time, Austrians did not get a chance this year.
For example, researchers from Poland and the USA received the prize in the category “chemistry and geology” for her research into why many scientists like to lick stones. It gives him great pleasure to receive the price for one of these “fundamental thing” to get, said Jan Zalasiewicz. “Geologists do this all the time because something that isn’t entirely clear becomes significantly clearer when the surface is wet.”
Researched nose hairs on corpses
Scientists from the USA, Canada, Iran and Vietnam received one of ten awards for using cadavers to research whether a person has the same number of hairs in both nostrils. The researchers said in their acceptance speech that they conducted research on around 20 corpses and found around 110 to 120 hairs per nostril.
Researchers from China, Canada, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Ireland, the USA and Japan received a prize in the category “Education” for her methodical investigation of boredom among teachers and students. Among other things, it is more likely that students will be bored in class if they expect it in advance, said the research team in its acceptance speech. In addition, students are more likely to be bored in class if they have the impression that the teacher is bored.
Stanford toilet invented
Colleagues from France, Great Britain, Malaysia and Finland received an award for their study of how people feel when they repeat a word many times. Researchers from the United States received a prize for conducting experiments on city streets to find out how many pedestrians stop and look up when they see strangers looking up.
A South Korean-American researcher invented the so-called Stanford toilet – a toilet that uses various tools to analyze the substances excreted by people. “Don’t waste your waste”said Seung Min Park during his short acceptance speech for the award. Scientists from India, China, Malaysia and the USA revived dead spiders to use them as mechanical grasping tools – and also received awards for this.
A team of researchers from Argentina, Spain, Colombia, Chile, China and the USA was honored for studying the brain activity of people who are experts at speaking backwards. “Thank you for this fun prize, we are happy to accept it”said María José Torres-Prioris and her colleague Adolfo García – forwards and backwards.
Online awards ceremony
A male and female researcher from Japan were also honored for their experiments on the question of whether electric chopsticks and straws can change the taste of food. A prize also went to scientists from Spain, Switzerland, France and Great Britain for research into the extent to which the sexual activity of anchovies is reflected in sea water.
Before the corona pandemic, the gala – which was also attended by real Nobel Prize winners, including this year the German physicist Wolfgang Ketterle – was watched every year by more than 1,000 spectators in a theater at the elite Harvard University. But also at the approximately one and a half hour online awards ceremony, this time under the overall theme “Water” There were paper airplanes flying, there were sketches, bizarre short pieces of music and a lot more bizarre nonsense – ended by the traditional closing words of the moderator Marc Abrahams, editor of a scientific journal on strange research: “If you didn’t win an Ig Nobel Prize this year, and especially if you did, better luck next year!”
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