2015 Ig Nobel Prizes Announced

The 25th 1st Annual (not a typo!) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held in September 2015 at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre. Not to be confused with the Nobel Prizes scheduled to be announced in October in Stockholm, Sweden, the Ig Nobel Prizes are intended to “honor achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think.”

This year’s Ig Nobel Prize award winners this year included:

  • For physics, a team of researchers from the U.S. and Taiwan who evaluated the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds!);
  • For medicine, two separate teams of researchers from the U.S. Japan, China, Germany and Slovakia for experiments that studied the biomedical effects (positive and negative) of intense kissing and other intimate, interpersonal activities;
  • For diagnostic medicine, a multi-country team of eight researchers who determined that acute appendicitis can be accurately diagnosed by the amount of pain experienced when a patient is driven over speed bumps.
  • For mathematics, two researcher who applied mathematical techniques to determine whether and how Moulay Ismael, the Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, actually fathered 888 children in the 30 years between 1697 and 1727;
  • And finally, for economics, the Bangkok (Thailand) Metropolitan Police department for offering to pay extra compensation to policemen who refuse to take bribes.

Read additional details of this year’s winners are available at the website of Improbable Research (the humorous folks behind the Ig Nobel Prizes).

Photo by Brad.K

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