Article - Nobel Prize Info:

The Ig Nobel prizes are a parody of the official Nobel prizes awarded each year; the Ig Nobel prize is given out in October of each year. The requirements for obtaining an Ig Nobel prize include achievements that "first make people laugh, then make them think." The awards are overseen by the Annals of Improbable Research, a comedic scientific magazine and are presented to their recipients at Harvard's Sanders Theater; the ceremony is attended by true Nobel Laureates. All of the Ig Nobel prizes are for real achievements in the categories for which they are awarded, and only the name of the award is a parody. Some people may find the Ig Nobel prize more rewarding than their diplomas. The first year of awards ceremonies was in 1991 which had the only three "non-true" achievement awards.

Categories include biology, physics, chemistry, medicine and interdisciplinary studies to name a few. Ten awards are given out each year for examples in science that are comedic or unexpected; the first year's awards were for discoveries "that cannot and should not be reproduced." The name Ig Nobel is a combination of the word ignoble which means lowly or baseness and the name of Alfred Nobel which sheds light onto the purpose of the award itself. Some of the past winners of the award have touched on subjects or theories like black holes by their very nature exhibit the characteristics of Hell or a study on the "five second rule" which is an urban myth that food will not become contaminated if only left on the floor for five seconds.

The ceremony originally took place in a lecture hall at MIT and are filled with comedic relief such as a little girl who cries out "I'm bored" if a speaker takes too long. All of the awards are presented by true Nobel Laureates and each ceremony ends with the phrase "if you didn't win, or if you did win, better luck next year..." The ceremony is broadcast on the first Friday following Thanksgiving on National Public Radio and online live. A British minister asked the Ig Nobel awards to not give awards to British scientists due to the fact that it may take away from genuine scientific research. British scientists rebutted this argument in the publication Chemistry and Industry and support the Ig Nobel awards.

Recently, in 2008, Massimiliano Zampini of the University of Trento, Italy and Charles Spence of Oxford University, UK, were awarded the Nutrition Ig Nobel prize for modifying, electronically, the sound a potato chip makes when eaten to fool the consumer into thinking the chip is crispier than it actually is. The Swiss Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology received the Ig Nobel Peace prize for legally stating that plants have dignity. The 2008 Biology Ig Nobel prize was awarded to three scientists for work on research that determined that fleas that live on a dog jump higher than fleas that live on a cat. The Physics Ig Nobel prize in 2008 was awarded to Dorian Raymer of the Ocean Observatories Initiative at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, and Douglas Smith of the University of California, San Diego, USA, for their work in determining that hair, string or almost any other string like material will knot themselves when left unattended.

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