|Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. Photo credit: ptwo|
The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research. The stated aim of the prizes is to "first make people laugh, and then make them think". The awards are sometimes veiled criticism (or gentle satire). Organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), they are presented by a group that includes Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University's Sanders Theater, and they are followed by a set of public lectures by the winners at MIT.
The name is a play on the words ignoble ("characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness") and the Nobel Prize.
- Psychology: Anita Eerland, Rolf Zwaan, and Tulio Guadalupe for their study "Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller".
- Peace: The SKN Company, for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.
- Acoustics: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada for creating the SpeechJammer — a machine that disrupts a person's speech, by making them hear their own spoken words at a very slight delay.
- Neuroscience: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird, Michael Miller, and George Wolford, for demonstrating that brain researchers, by using complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see meaningful brain activity anywhere — even in a dead salmon.
- Chemistry: Johan Pettersson, for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people's hair turned green.
- Literature: The US Government General Accountability Office, for issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports.
- Physics: Joseph Keller, Raymond Goldstein, Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball, for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail.
- Fluid dynamics: Rouslan Krechetnikov and Hans Mayer for studying the dynamics of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person walks while carrying a cup of coffee.
- Anatomy: Frans de Waal and Jennifer Pokorny, for discovering that chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually from seeing photographs of their rear ends.
- Medicine: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel Antonietti, for advising doctors who perform colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their patients will explode.