The 24th 1st Annual (not a typo!) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held in September 2014 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, Japanese researchers who determined the frictional coefficient between a shoe and a banana peel, and the banana peel and the floor;
- For neuroscience, scientists from China and Canada who studied the effect on the brains of people who see the face of Jesus Christ in a piece of toasted bread;
- For psychology, Australian, British and U.S. researchers for amassing evidence that people who routinely stay up late are more self-admiring and more manipulative than those who wake up early;
- And, for public health, researchers in Japan, the U.S., India and the Czech Republic for investigating whether owning a cat is mentally hazardous for humans.
Additional details of this year’s winners are available at the website of Improbable Research (the humorous folks behind the Ig Nobel Prizes) at http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2014.