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2008 IgNobel Prizes announced! Answered

The IgNobel Prizes are awarded annually for research which "cannot, or should not, be reproduced"; achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think".

The prizes are meant in good humour, and many winner pay their own way to attend the ceremonies. Past winners have been known to return to ceremonies in later years to show off their achievements to a receptive audience (this year it was a sword-swallowing doctor).

The Japanese team that showed slime moulds can solve mazes sang their acceptance speech.

The Winners:

  • NUTRITION PRIZE.
Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, for electronically modifying the sound of a potato chip to make the person chewing the chip believe it to be crisper and fresher than it really is. They also showed that playing the sound of bacon frying can make ice-cream taste bacony.

  • PEACE PRIZE.
The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology (ECNH) and the citizens of Switzerland for adopting the legal principle that plants have dignity.

  • ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE.
Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and Jose Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.

  • BIOLOGY PRIZE.
Marie-Christine Cadiergues, Christel Joubert, and Michel Franc of Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Toulouse, France for discovering that the fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than the fleas that live on a cat.

  • MEDICINE PRIZE.
Dan Ariely of Duke University, USA, for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective than low-priced fake medicine.

  • COGNITIVE SCIENCE PRIZE.
Toshiyuki Nakagaki of Hokkaido University, Japan, Hiroyasu Yamada of Nagoya, Japan, Ryo Kobayashi of Hiroshima University, Atsushi Tero of Presto JST, Akio Ishiguro of Tohoku University, and Agota Toth of the University of Szeged, Hungary, for discovering that slime molds can solve puzzles.

  • ECONOMICS PRIZE.
Geoffrey Miller, Joshua Tybur and Brent Jordan of the University of New Mexico, USA, for discovering that a professional lap dancer's ovulatory cycle affects her tip earnings.

  • PHYSICS PRIZE.
Dorian Raymer of the Ocean Observatories Initiative at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Douglas Smith of the University of California, San Diego, USA, for proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots. Their paper has one of the best genuine research titles I have seen for a long time: Spontaneous Knotting of an Agitated String.

  • JOINT CHEMISTRY PRIZE.
Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England (USA), Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School (USA), for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide

  • JOINT CHEMISTRY PRIZE.
Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University (Taiwan), C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan) for discovering that Coca-Cola is not an effective spermicide.

  • LITERATURE PRIZE.
David Sims of Cass Business School. London, UK, for his lovingly written study "You Bastard: A Narrative Exploration of the Experience of Indignation within Organizations."

Journal of Improbable Research
The site will be hosting video of the ceremony in the next few days.

Discussions

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Lithium Rain

11 years ago

Hahaha! Plants have dignity...

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puffyfluff

11 years ago

Wow, that's...ummm...

Interesting!

Funny that the slime molds group sang it...

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DJ Radio

11 years ago

i would not be the best candidate for the peace prize i take it bumpus and skate, dont bother replying to this comment if you see it, you are immature in the fact that you are picking on a kid and you are 17.

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PKMDJ Radio

Reply 11 years ago

Can I? Bringing up the fact that you have lots of arguments and calling the people you have arguments with immature in what looks like an invitation to haveanother argument isn't the best way to stop having arguments.

Seriously- if you drop it, they will.

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CameronSS

11 years ago

You have an extra comma under "Biology."

Yeah, it's not exactly on-topic, but it's a bump, at least.