Archive for 'Ig Nobel'

Announcing the Ig Nobel free-tickets-to-the-2015-ceremony winner

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Earlier this year we announced that people who purchased a subscription to the Annals of Improbable Research between Sept 18 and Sept 30 would be entered in a drawing for 2 free tickets to next year’s (2015) Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.

To ensure a fair drawing, we separated the duties of numbering the eligible entries and choosing a number to compare to that list.

We’re happy to announce the winner: Dan Muir of Williamston, Michigan. He writes:

“I am thrilled that I have finally won an award commensurate with my contributions to science! I heard of you through media coverage of the ig nobel prize over the last few years, and finally got around to looking at your website. At that point I was hooked. To have received such a prestigious award is simply icing on the cake.”

Dan has won 2 free tickets to the 2015 Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony.

The 2015 ceremony will be the 25th First Annual ceremony. We hope to announce the exact date soon.

Thanks to all who entered!


Foot and Fry on the Igs

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Greg Foot and Hannah Fry, the “Head Squeeze” team from BBC Future, look at a few things that have won Ig Nobel Prizes.

They then suggest several other studies that might merit future honors.  Their suggestions for non-winning papers are all things that either did win a prize or are follow-ups to things that won a prize. Here’s their video:

Ig Nobel winner David Dunning surveys recent research about incompetent people

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Ig Nobel Prize-winning Cornell psychology professor David Dunning — he of the Dunning-Kruger effect — tells the majestic story of incompetent people, in this essay in Pacific Standard:

We Are All Confident Idiots

BY DAVID DUNNING • October 27, 2014 • 4:00 AM

The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise. A leading researcher on the psychology of human wrongness sets us straight.

The 2001 Ig Nobel Prize for psychology was awarded to David Dunning and Justin Kruger, for their modest report, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” [Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 77, no. 6, December 1999, pp. 1121-34.]

Here’s a link to a full copy of the prize-winning study.

Here is a curious interview, conducted in the year 2012 by opinionated interviewer George Galloway, with David Dunning. The interviewer, a former politician, keeps asking whether voters are stupid:

Dr. Schwab explains why woodpeckers don’t get headaches

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Dr. Ivan Schwab explains why woodpeckers don’t get headaches, in this Discovery Channel video:

He explains it in more detail, in this TEDx Talk:

Dr. Schwab, of the University of California Davis, and the late Philip R.A. May of the University of California Los Angeles, were awarded the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize for ornithology, for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don’t get headaches.

REFERENCE: “Cure for a Headache,” Ivan R Schwab, British Journal of Ophthalmology, vol. 86, 2002, p. 843.
REFERENCE: “Woodpeckers and Head Injury,” Philip R.A. May, JoaquinM. Fuster, Paul Newman and Ada Hirschman, Lancet, vol. 307, no. 7957, February28, 1976, pp. 454-5.
REFERENCE: “Woodpeckers and Head Injury,” Philip R.A. May, JoaquinM. Fuster, Paul Newman and Ada Hirschman, Lancet, vol. 307, no. 7973, June 19,1976, pp. 1347-8.

If you come to the Improbable Research show at the AAAS Annual Meeting, on February 14, 2015, in San Jose, California, you can see and hear and meet Dr. Schwab, and learn the latest on his work.

This video from the University of Southern California (USC) explains how USC researchers are following in the path laid out by Dr. Schwab, to better understand how the woodpecker insights might be applied to protecting the brains of human football players:

BONUS: Dr. Schwab also wrote the book Evolution’s Witness: How the Eye Evolved.

A quick intro to the Ig Nobel Prizes, on Belgian TV

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Here’s a twelve-minute introduction to the Ig Nobel Prizes, in case you need one, on Belgian TV. Lieven Scheire is your guide. The program is Cafe Corsari: