IG news Update,
The sex lives of constipated scorpions, furry ducklings with an innate sense of physics, and a life-size rubber moose may not seem like much in common, but they all inspired the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel, the comics Award for scientific achievement. ,
Held less than a month before the actual Nobel Prizes were announced, Thursday’s 32nd annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony, for the third year in a row, was a pre-recorded affair webcast on the website of the journal Annals of Improbable Research.
Honored winners in 10 categories included scientists who found that when people are attracted to each other on a blind date their heart rates synchronized, and researchers looked at why legal documents can be so shocking. , even for the lawyers themselves.
Although the ceremony was pre-recorded, it retained much of the enjoyment of the live event typically held at Harvard University.
As has been an Ig Nobel tradition, the actual Nobel laureates gave prizes using some video trickery: the Nobel laureates took the prize off the screen, while the winners arrived and brought a prize that was sent to them and themselves. The scene was assembled.
The winners also received a nearly worthless Zimbabwean $10 trillion bill.
look | 32nd Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony
Curiosity Ig-nited? Learn more about some of the winners:
get your ducks in a row
“Science is fun. I kind of have a tagline that you’re not doing science if you’re not having fun,” said Frank Fisch, a biology professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.
Fish share physics’s Ig Nobel for studying why ducks follow their mothers in single-file formation.
It’s about conserving energy: Ducklings are drafting, much like stock cars, cyclists and runners do in a race, he said.
“It all has to do with the flow behind that dominant organism and the way the formation proceeds can actually have an energetic advantage,” said the aptly named Fish, whose specialty is studying how the animal swim.
He shared the prize with researchers from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, who found that the ducklings did indeed unfold when their mothers were awake.
that sense of coordination
Eliska Prochazkova’s personal experiences inspired her research on dating which earned her and her colleagues the Ig Nobel in Cardiology.
She had no problem finding her apparently perfect match on dating apps, yet she often found that there was no spark when they met face-to-face. So she put people on blind dates in real social settings, measured their physical reactions, and found that people’s heart rates tended to be attracted to each other.
So is his work proof of “love at first sight”?
“It really depends on how you define love,” researcher Prochazkova from Leiden University in the Netherlands said in an email. “What we found in our research was that people were able to decide whether they wanted to date their partner very quickly. Within the first two seconds of the date, the participants gave a great deal about the person sitting in front of them. It’s a complicated thought.”
a brutal sting
Solimari García-Hernández and Glauco Machado of the University of So Paulo in Brazil won the Ig Nobel in biology for studying whether constipation ruins a scorpion’s sex life.
Scorpions can sever a body part to escape a predator – a process known as autotomy. But when they lose their tails, they also lose the last part of the digestive tract, leading to constipation—and ultimately, death, they wrote in the journal Integrated Zoology.
“Long-term deficits in locomotor performance of autotomized males may impair mate search,” they wrote.
crash test mousse
Magnus Gers won the Safety Engineering Ig Nobel for creating the Moose “crash test dummy” for his master’s thesis at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, which was published by the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
Gers said in an email that frequent collisions between moose and vehicles on Sweden’s highways often result in injuries and death to both humans and animals. Yet automobile manufacturers rarely include animal accidents in their safety testing.
“I believe this is a lucrative and still very unexplored sector that deserves all the attention it is receiving,” he said. “This topic is mysterious, life-threatening and more relevant than ever.”
Can you talk legal?
Anyone who has ever read the Terms of Service Agreement knows that legal documents can be downright incomprehensible.
This frustrated Eric Martinez, a graduate student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who also has a law degree from Harvard.
Martinez, Francis Molica and Edward Gibson shared the literature Ig Nobel for Analysis That Makes Legal Documents Unnecessarily Difficult to Understand, research that appeared in the journal Cognition.
“Ultimately, there’s a sort of expectation that lawyers will think a little bit more with the reader in mind,” he said. “Clarity not only benefits the common man, it also benefits the lawyers.”