Yvonne Carts-Powell

Nobel, schmobel, who won an Ig?!

In Uncategorized on October 12, 2008 at 11:59 am

Giving a Nobel in Chemistry to the discoverer and developers of Green Fluorescent Protein is a worthy cause (although I’m still wondering why the Nobel in Medicine was given to the discoverers of HIV but not developers who learned how to grow it in the lab).

But! The prestigious (or is it notorious?) international science awards that are really close to my heart are the Ig Nobels. The the Ig Nobels celebrate “Research that makes you laugh, and then makes you think.”

My favorite among this year’s Ig Nobel winners is the group of researchers who discovered that slime molds can solve puzzles. And published a paper about it in Nature. One wonders if puzzle solving (ie, adaptation) by individual organisms should be an indicator of life?

The awards ceremony is a particular blend of absurdity and mockery that is hard to describe if you haven’t attended. The entire ceremony is available as a quicktime movie.


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