For 10 years the august scientists of Harvard University have scoured the world's research establishments for the most bizarre and weird real-life scientific research. WHAT: The Ig Nobel Prize honours individuals whose achievements in science cannot or should not be reproduced. 10 prizes are given to people who have done remarkably bizarre things in science over the previous year. The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony is held in October. Prizes are awarded by genuine Nobel laureates. WHY: The 'Igs' are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative and shine a grubby spotlight onto the weird corners of laboratories around the world. PAST WINNERS: Peter Fong's experiment in which he fed Prozac to clams (Ig Nobel Biology Prize, 1998) on the basis that if they chilled out more they'd taste better. Harold Hillman's report on 'The Possible Pain Experienced during Execution by Different Methods' (Ig Nobel Peace Prize, 1997) Jerald Bain and Kerry Siminoski's examination of The Relationship among Height, Penile Length, and Foot Size (Ig Nobel Statistics Prize, 1998). Masumi Wakita (Ig Nobel Psychology Prize, 1995) and their achievement in training pigeons to discriminate between the paintings of Picasso and those of Monet Richard Seed (Ig Nobel Economics Prize, 1997) and his plan to clone himself and other human beings. Ida Sabelis (Ig Nobel Biology 2000) for Magnetic resonance Imaging of Male and Female Genitals During Coitus and Female Sexual Arousal The book will look behind the scenes of these landmark researchers and feature the weirdest research from a hundred years of science.
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Marc Abrahams is a Harvard Mathematician who celebrates all that is weird and wonderful in the field of scientific research. He is Editor of the humorous magazine 'The Annals of Improbable Research' and Chairman of the Ig Nobel Board of governors.From Publishers Weekly:
Each year, the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research awards 10 Ig Nobel prizes to assorted scientists, professors and ordinary folk for their projects and accomplishments, some of which are "commendable-if perhaps goofy," and others simply baffling. Written by AIR editor Abrahams, this book entertainingly immortalizes dubious, but real, endeavors, such as the study of electric shock treatment's effects on rattlesnake bites; the proposition (from a Maharishi Univeristy faculty member) that meditation would reduce violent crime in Washington, DC; and the British Royal Navy's budget-driven directive to have its sailors shout "Bang!" instead of using live cannon shells. A list of past winners reveals that in 1991, Dan Quayle was honored with an Education Ig Nobel "for demonstrating, better than anyone else, the need for science education," and that in 1992, former L.A. police chief Daryl Gates (who was forced to resign in the wake of the Rodney King beating) was awarded a Peace Ig Nobel "for his uniquely compelling methods of bringing people together." Abrahams also describes the annual ceremony to honor these awardees-where Nobel Laureates are invited to bestow the prizes, paper airplanes are tossed from audience to stage and back, and 30-second limits on lectures are enforced by baseball umps ("Anyone who exceeded the time limit was thrown off the stage. This proved popular with the audience")-which has become a surprise hit. This is a delightfully weird little volume for those with an irreverent attitude toward accomplishment.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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