The 2019 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

The 2019 Ig Nobel Prizes were awarded September 12 in a ceremony at Harvard’s Sanders Theatre. The ceremony was webcast.

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that make people LAUGH, and then THINK. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.

MEDICINE PRIZE [ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS]
Silvano Gallus, for collecting evidence that pizza might protect against illness and death, if the pizza is made and eaten in Italy.

MEDICAL EDUCATION PRIZE [USA]
Karen Pryor and Theresa McKeon, for using a simple animal-training technique— called “clicker training” —to train surgeons to perform orthopedic surgery.

BIOLOGY PRIZE [SINGAPORE, CHINA, AUSTRALIA, POLAND, USA, BULGARIA]
Ling-Jun Kong, Herbert Crepaz, Agnieszka Górecka, Aleksandra Urbanek, Rainer Dumke, and Tomasz Paterek, for discovering that dead magnetized cockroaches behave differently than living magnetized cockroaches.

ANATOMY PRIZE [FRANCE]
Roger Mieusset and Bourras Bengoudifa, for measuring scrotal temperature asymmetry in naked and clothed postmen in France.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE [JAPAN]
Shigeru Watanabe, Mineko Ohnishi, Kaori Imai, Eiji Kawano, and Seiji Igarashi, for estimating the total saliva volume produced per day by a typical five-year-old child

ENGINEERING PRIZE [IRAN]
Iman Farahbakhsh, for inventing a diaper-changing machine for use on human infants.

ECONOMICS PRIZE [TURKEY, THE NETHERLANDS, GERMANY]
Habip Gedik, Timothy A. Voss, and Andreas Voss, for testing which country’s paper money is best at transmitting dangerous bacteria.

PEACE PRIZE [UK, SAUDI ARABIA, SINGAPORE, USA]
Ghada A. bin Saif, Alexandru Papoiu, Liliana Banari, Francis McGlone, Shawn G. Kwatra, Yiong-Huak Chan, and Gil Yosipovitch, for trying to measure the pleasurability of scratching an itch.

PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE [GERMANY]
Fritz Strack, for discovering that holding a pen in one’s mouth makes one smile, which makes one happier — and for then discovering that it does not.

PHYSICS PRIZE [USA, TAIWAN, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, SWEDEN, UK]
Patricia Yang, Alexander Lee, Miles Chan, Alynn Martin, Ashley Edwards, Scott Carver, and David Hu, for studying how, and why, wombats make cube-shaped poo.

NOTE: This the SECOND Ig Nobel Prize awarded to Patricia Yang and David Hu. They and two other colleagues shared the 2015 Ig Nobel Physics Prize, for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds).

The Ig Nobel Prizes are organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research. The ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association.

4 thoughts on “The 2019 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

  1. When is the diaper changing machine coming to a store near me? I’m thrilled even without diapers to change

  2. I would not trust a machine to diaper a baby.

    I barely trust a human being to handle a baby.

  3. Umm… quote: NOTE: This the SECOND Ig Nobel Prize awarded to Patricia Yang and David Hu. They and two other colleagues shared the 2015 Ig Nobel Physics Prize, for testing the biological principle that nearly all mammals empty their bladders in about 21 seconds (plus or minus 13 seconds). /quote

    I heard Dr Hu at Fermi Labs a couple of months ago. He talked about the time to empty mammal’s bladders. The time is 21 seconds, plus 13 and minus ** 10 ** (I am being pedantic because this is Serious Science :^)

    In true Scientist Mode, he started thinking about the time when changing his young son’s diaper, and the child, as baby boys are wont to do, started wizzing before a fresh diaper could be applied. He observed the small child took about the same time that he, a grown adult, did. He then roped three pre-med students in his class to goto the zoo and observe elephants pee. One became so fascinated he became a urologist.

    He also hinted that he might be at the IgNobel Awards.

    And, of course, the first question from the audience was about being called Dr Who… He took it with good grace…

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