February 21, 2020

07.10.09: The Ig Nobels Rock Cambridge!

Forget the Nobel prizes with their stuffed shirts and ivory tower scientists, the Ig Nobels are where the real science gets done! Unveiled to a full house at Cambridge, Massachusetts this past weekend, these sort of “anti-Nobels” feature down and dirty, no-holds barred science in the rough. Billed as “Science that makes you laugh, then makes you think”, the Ig Nobels are sponsored by the Center for Improbable Research. This years’ fare didn’t feature any astronomical themes, but were fascinating as usual. Some highlights;

Veterinary Medicine:Exploring Stock Manager’s Perceptions of the Human-Animal Relationship on Dairy Farms and an Association with Milk Production.” by Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University. Apparently, if Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was named “Sprinkles”, Chicago would have fared better.

Peace Prize: “Are Full or Empty Beer Bottles Studier, and does their Fracture Threshold suffice to break the Human Skull?” Stephan A. Bolliger, et al. In the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. Possibly, the best option might be “C.”, to successfully duck!

Chemistry Prize: “Growth of Diamond Films from Tequila.” Javier Morales, Miguel Apatiga, and Victor M. Castano of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. We here at Astroguyz would have been proud to test the psychosomatic effects of said diamonds…there’s just something about scientists and alcohol that screams Ig Nobel!

Honorable Mention: Donald Unger, who cracked the knuckles in his left hand every day for sixty years to study its effect on inducing arthritis… Katherine Whitcome, for analyzing the center of gravity of pregnant women… and Ireland’s police service for writing fifty driving tickets to the nation’s worst driver, thereby winning the Ig Nobel for Literature…

So don’t forget, you’ve now got 365 days to nominate your favorite wacky PhD thesis for 2010…hooray for mad science!


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