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An Even Better Nobel Prize

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Have you ever wondered how you could get a Nobel Prize? Winning the Nobel Prize is something everyone has toyed with in his or her daydreams. It is such a sought after and prestigious prize that every year, the whole world holds its breath to find out its laureates.

Well, wonder no more. I present to you the Ig Nobel Prize. You might wonder what this “Ig” in front of “Nobel Prize” means but if you say “Ig Nobel Prize” out loud you might understand the true meaning behind the “Ig Nobel Prize” *.
As you most likely have figured out by now, the Ig Nobel Prize isn’t the real deal. It is, depending on your point of view on things, even better.

The Ig Nobel Prizes have been awarded to “honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” In this depressing world, something like this, that makes people laugh is something, I personally, think is the perfect refreshment. Additionally, taking oneself too seriously can be dangerous and the Ig Nobel Prizes definitely combats that.

Even though these prizes may sound like a joke to you, they are still significant achievements. They are organized by the scientific humor magazine, the Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), and awarded by actual Nobel laureates in the Sanders Theater at Harvard University. It gets better. The winners hold public lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The whole Ig Nobel Prize seems to be an inside joke among the science community, and the ceremony itself is filled with funny gags. One of these gags is a little girl named Miss Sweetie Poo, who repeatedly cries out in a high-pitched voice, “Please stop: I’m bored” if speakers go on for too long.

If you found this already amusing, wait till you see the list of Ig Nobel Prize winners.

  • In 1997, the University of Florida ecology professor Mark Hostetler won the Ig Nobel Prize of Entomology for his book that helps you identify which bug has been splattered on your car windshield. Finally, you can investigate the murder scenes on your windshield.
  •  In 2001, Patent lawyer John Keogh won the Ig Nobel Prize in Technology for creating a “circular transportation facilitation device” – the wheel.
  • My personal favorite is the Ig Nobel Prize in Chemistry of 2016. Volkswagen won this award for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by simply cheating the test machine and programming it to display fewer emissions. A truly deserved award.
  • If you are looking for a summer read, look no further than the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize of Literature laureate. Fredrik Sjöberg won this award for his three-volume autobiographical work describing the pleasure he feels when he collects dead and alive flies. Doesn’t that sound like a page-turner?

As seen above, the Ig Nobel Prize is comedy gold. However, it is not only funny but has had an actual impact on the world. In 2006, a study showing that one of the mosquitos, which carries malaria, is attracted to Limburger cheese, was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in biology. Later, this study helped combat the epidemic of malaria as the cheese was used to trap the mosquitos.

Skimming through that list is also something that I would recommend to everyone – you will definitely have a good chuckle and no longer see science as this bone-dry subject you are forced to take in school as you previously might have thought.

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An Even Better Nobel Prize