If you’ve been around here for more than a day or two you’ll have probably realized at least two things about me*: I love science and I love to laugh. Even best is when I can combine the two.
Which brings me to the Ig Nobel awards. The Nobel Awards are, of course, the highest prize in science. Awarded yearly, they go to the most outstanding accomplishments in their field and are probably the most prestigious award you can get if you’re any kind of researcher or diplomat.
The Ig Nobel Award, however, is for science dudes who’s research makes you laugh and then makes you think.
Hah! I think we can all agree that this is an awesome premise.
The ceremony, hosted by the Harvard-based journal Annals of Improbable Research, took place last (week) with the much-coveted prizes handed out by real Nobel laureates. Recipients were allowed a maximum of 60 seconds to deliver their acceptance speech, a time limit enforced by an eight-year-old girl.
Yeah, there’s an award ceremony that doesn’t take itself too seriously. That’s what I like to read about.
The medicine prize went to a couple of researchers from the Netherlands. Psychologists Simon Rietveld and Ilja van Beest at the University of Amsterdam share the award for discovering that breathing difficulties brought on by asthma can be alleviated by repeated rollercoaster rides. Makes me want to try out the cure and I don’t even have asthma.
The biology prize went to, perhaps, my favorite science story of the last little while. You’re going to love this one.
A description of the sexual antics of the short-nosed fruit bat earned the award for Gareth Jones at Bristol University and collaborators in China. The team showed that females who performed oral sex on their mates copulated for longer. “It is the first documented case of fellatio by adult animals other than humans to my knowledge, and opens questions about whether female animals can manipulate males via sexual activity, perhaps in this case to improve their chances of successful fertilisation,” Jones told the Guardian. He planned to demonstrate the behaviour at the ceremony using puppets.
Writing about the research for the Huffington Post last year, the primatologist Frans de Waal said: “The fellatio story on bats is a bright spot in an otherwise miserable record that denies animals the pleasure principle, homosexuality, and other forms of non-reproductive sex.”
Yeah, that’s science that makes you laugh.
Check out the link for more Ig Nobel Award winners. And, if you hear about any funny science stories, let me know. I can always use a good laugh.
*And, no, I’m not talking about that thing with the penguins. To this day, I’m legally prohibited from talking about that out loud. Or in written form.Share on Facebook Tags: A Dude's Guide to Health, A Dude's Guide to Kids, Acceptance Speech, Adult, Adult Animals, Annals Of Improbable Research, Asthma, Breathing Difficulties, Bristol University, China, Demon, Demons, Diplomat, Discover, dude, Emotion, Favorite Science, fellatio, Female Animals, Fruit Bat, funny, Gareth Jones, girl, Google, Harvard, Homosexual, Ig Nobel, Journal Annals, Knowledge, Laugh, love, Man, Mate, Maxim, Maximum, Medicine, men, Netherlands, Nobel Award, Nobel Awards, Nobel Laureates, Old Girl, penguin, Penguins, Pleasure, Premise, Prestigious Award, Prizes, Psychologist, Psychologists, Puppets, research, Researcher, richard, Rietveld, Rollercoaster Rides, science, Science Story, sex, Sexual Activity, Sexual Antics, Time Limit, University Of Amsterdam, Van Beest, writing