Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, 2012
For achievements that first make people LAUGH
then make them THINK
"The Ig Nobel awards are arguably the highlight of
the scientific calendar." --Nature
The 2012 Ig Nobel Prize Winners
Winners were announced and awarded on Thursday night,
September 20. The ceremony was webcast live. For more
information, check the ceremony page.
PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE: Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan [THE
NETHERLANDS] and Tulio Guadalupe [PERU, RUSSIA, and THE
NETHERLANDS] for their study "Leaning to the Left Makes
the Eiffel Tower Seem Smaller"
REFERENCE: "Leaning to the Left Makes the Eiffel Tower
Seem Smaller: Posture-Modulated Estimation," Anita
Eerland, Tulio M. Guadalupe and Rolf A. Zwaan,
Psychological Science, vol. 22 no. 12, December 2011,
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Tulio Guadalupe. [NOTE: Two days
after the ceremony, Anita Eerland and Rolf Zwaan will
marry each other, in the Netherlands.]
PEACE PRIZE: The SKN Company [RUSSIA], for converting
old Russian ammunition into new diamonds.
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Igor Petrov
ACOUSTICS PRIZE: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada
[JAPAN] 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.
REFERENCE: "SpeechJammer: A System Utilizing Artificial
Speech Disturbance with Delayed Auditory Feedback",
Kazutaka Kurihara, Koji Tsukada,
arxiv.org/abs/1202.6106. February 28, 2012.
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji
NEUROSCIENCE PRIZE: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird,
Michael Miller, and George Wolford [USA], for
demonstrating that brain researchers, by using
complicated instruments and simple statistics, can see
meaningful brain activity anywhere - even in a dead
REFERENCE: "Neural correlates of interspecies
perspective taking in the post-mortem Atlantic Salmon:
An argument for multiple comparisons correction," Craig
M. Bennett, Abigail A. Baird, Michael B. Miller, and
George L. Wolford, 2009.
REFERENCE: "Neural Correlates of Interspecies
Perspective Taking in the Post-Mortem Atlantic Salmon:
An Argument For Multiple Comparisons Correction," Craig
M. Bennett, Abigail A. Baird, Michael B. Miller, and
George L. Wolford, Journal of Serendipitous and
Unexpected Results, vol. 1, no. 1, 2010, pp. 1-5.
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Craig Bennett, Abigail Baird,
Michael Miller, and George Wolford
CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Johan Pettersson [SWEDEN and RWANDA].
for solving the puzzle of why, in certain houses in the
town of Anderslöv, Sweden, people's hair turned green.
ATTENDING THE THE CEREMONY: Johan Pettersson
LITERATURE PRIZE: 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.
REFERENCE: "Actions Needed to Evaluate the Impact of
Efforts to Estimate Costs of Reports and Studies," US
Government General Accountability Office report
GAO-12-480R, May 10, 2012.
PHYSICS PRIZE: Joseph Keller [USA], and Raymond
Goldstein [USA and UK], Patrick Warren, and Robin Ball
[UK], for calculating the balance of forces that shape
and move the hair in a human ponytail.
REFERENCE: "Shape of a Ponytail and the Statistical
Physics of Hair Fiber Bundles." Raymond E. Goldstein,
Patrick B. Warren, and Robin C. Ball, Physical Review
Letters, vol. 198, no. 7, 2012.
REFERENCE: "Ponytail Motion," Joseph B. Keller, SIAM
[Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics] Journal
of Applied Mathematics, vol. 70, no. 7, 2010, pp.
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Joseph Keller, Raymond
Goldstein, Patrick Warren, Robin Ball
FLUID DYNAMICS PRIZE: Rouslan Krechetnikov [USA, RUSSIA,
CANADA] and Hans Mayer [USA] for studying the dynamics
of liquid-sloshing, to learn what happens when a person
walks while carrying a cup of coffee.
REFERENCE: "Walking With Coffee: Why Does It Spill?"
Hans C. Mayer and Rouslan Krechetnikov, Physical Review
E, vol. 85, 2012.
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Rouslan Krechetnikov
ANATOMY PRIZE: Frans de Waal [The Netherlands and USA]
and Jennifer Pokorny [USA] for discovering that
chimpanzees can identify other chimpanzees individually
from seeing photographs of their rear ends.
REFERENCE: "Faces and Behinds: Chimpanzee Sex
Perception" Frans B.M. de Waal and Jennifer J. Pokorny,
Advanced Science Letters, vol. 1, 99-103, 2008.
ATTENDING THE CEREMONY: Frans de Waal and Jennifer
MEDICINE PRIZE: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan and Michel
Antonietti [FRANCE] for advising doctors who perform
colonoscopies how to minimize the chance that their
patients will explode.
REFERENCE: "Colonic Gas Explosion During Therapeutic
Colonoscopy with Electrocautery," Spiros D Ladas, George
Karamanolis, Emmanuel Ben-Soussan, World Journal of
Gastroenterology, vol. 13, no. 40, October 2007, pp.
REFERENCE: "Argon Plasma Coagulation in the Treatment of
Hemorrhagic Radiation Proctitis is Efficient But
Requires a Perfect Colonic Cleansing to Be Safe," E.
Ben-Soussan, M. Antonietti, G. Savoye, S. Herve, P.
Ducrotté, and E. Lerebours, European Journal of
Gastroenterology & Hepatology, vol. 16, no. 12, December
2004, pp 1315-8.
ATTENDING THE THE CEREMONY: Emmanuel Ben-Soussan
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