The 23rd First Annual IgNobel Prize Ceremony took place last night, celebrating science that makes people laugh and then think. Winners covered the gamut of scientific inquiry, from biology and astronomy (“Dung Beetles Use the Milky Way for Orientation”) to psychology (“‘Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beer Holder’: People Who Think They Are Drunk Also Think They Are Attractive”) to archeology (“Human Digestive Effects on a Micromammalian Skeleton”).
The full list of winners is here, and the blogger Scicurious over at Scientific American will be posting quick blurbs to her blog about each winner in the coming days. If you weren’t there or missed the live webcast, you can watch the full ceremony, including the Ig Opera, “The Blonsky Device,” here.
And the NSA managed to embed a cameraman into the crew. I got my hands on their recording (shhh…); here it is:
Nothing else of importance happened in the scientific world this week. Really.
I’m being told that a lot of interesting and important science happened this week. Frankly, I’m not buying it. Compared to the Igs, this all sounds pretty mundane to me, like:
- Two common drugs may work against the emerging Middle Eastern coronovirus (MERS-CoV), and a vaccine against the virus is in the works.
- Farming ants hire mercenary ant guards armed with chemical weapons.
- The Voyager 1 probe has really, truly left the solar system for real.
- If a bacterium can withstand a disinfectant cleaner, it could become resistant to antibiotics, too.
- Scientists have reprogrammed cells into stem cells — in a living animal.
- The strength of gravity itself might be changing.
- Researchers have found chemicals produced by human skin that could help blind mosquitoes to our presence.
But how can any of that hold a candle to an Ig-worthy study like “Surgical Management of an Epidemic of Penile Amputations in Siam“? Especially if one of the concerns regarding reattachment is whether the member in question was partially eaten by a duck?
I mean, really.