2016 Ig Nobel Prizes Announced

The 26th 1st Annual (not a typo!) Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was held in September 2016 at Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre. Not to be confused with the Nobel Prizes usually 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 included:

  • For reproductive science, the late Ahmed Shafik for his research on the effects of wearing polyester, cotton or wool trousers on the sex life of rats;
  • For economics, a team of researchers from New Zealand and the UK for assessing the perceived personalities of rocks, from a sales and marketing perspective;
  • For physics, a tie between a multi-country team of researchers for determining why white-haired horses are the most horsefly-proof, and a separate team for discovering why dragonflies are fatally attracted to tombstones;
  • For psychology, another multi-country team for asking a thousand liars how often they lie, and for deciding whether to believe those answers;
  • For peace, a Canada and U.S. team for their scholarly research “On the Reception and Detection of Pseudo-Profound Bullshit.”
  • And, finally, for chemistry, the automaker Volkswagen for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested.

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


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