Four WISE Members Attend the 25th First Annual Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony

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wise.ignobleYour intrepid members Sandy Meltzer, Marsha Addis, Karl and Sandra Hakkarainen ventured to Harvard September 17 to attend this prestigious (and funny, as you can tell from the event title and our hats) ceremony.*

Ig Nobel Prizes are awarded for achievements that first make people LAUGH, and then make them THINK. The “Igs” are intended to spur public curiosity and interest in science and other fields of endeavor. Ten prizes are awarded each year, by real Nobel prize winners, for published research by scientists all over the world.

For example, this year prizes were awarded for

Determining what place on a man’s body feels the most pain from a bee sting (The scientist used himself as the research subject. Can you guess which part of his anatomy hurt the worst?)

Proving that if you attach a plunger to a chicken’s butt, the chicken will walk like a dinosaur. (The four scientists accepting this award all wore plungers attached to the rear of their pants while they demonstrated the difference between the chicken’s walk with and without.)

During the evening we were entertained also by the “24/7” lectures (given by scientists who explained their research technically in 24 seconds followed by explanations for the rest of us in 7 words). The program included an opera, written for the event by Worcester’s favorite soprano Maria Ferrante, that told the hilarious story of what happened when two people brought together one of every species in the world for a conference.

So, listen up fellow WISE members, plan to join us next year for the 26th First Annual…