SoT 341: The 2019 Ig Nobel Prizes

October 9, 2019

Hosts: Ed Brown, Penny Dumsday, Lucas Randall, Peter Miller

The Ig Nobel Prizes honour achievements that first make us laugh, then make us think. We take a look at this year’s winners: from the benefits of pizza to the temperature of French postal packages!

You can watch the award ceremony here.

[00:01:16] MEDICINE PRIZE which was awarded to Silvano Gallus, for collecting evidence that pizza might protect against illness and death, if the pizza is made and eaten in Italy.
[00:08:26] MEDICAL EDUCATION PRIZE was won by Karen Pryor and Theresa McKeon, for using a simple animal-training technique — called “clicker training” — to train surgeons to per[form orthopedic surgery.
[00:13:54] BIOLOGY PRIZE went to a team with members from Singapore, China, Germany, Australia, Poland, USA, and Bulgaria for discovering that dead magnetized cockroaches behave differently than living magnetized cockroaches.
[00:19:20] ANATOMY PRIZE was award to two Frenchmen for measuring scrotal temperature asymmetry in naked and clothed postmen in France.
[00:24:11] CHEMISTRY PRIZE Went to a team from Japan, for estimating the total saliva volume produced per day by a typical five-year-old child.
[00:27:30] ENGINEERING PRIZE was won by Iranian Iman Farahbakhsh, for inventing a diaper-changing machine [for use on human infants.
[00:30:54] ECONOMICS PRIZE went to three researchers from Turkey, the Netherlands, and Germany for testing which country’s paper money is best at transmitting dangerous bacteria..
[00:36:42] PEACE PRIZE went to an international team of seven researchers, for trying to measure the pleasurability of scratching an itch.
[00:40:40] PSYCHOLOGY PRIZE was awarded to German 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.
[00:46:17] PHYSICS PRIZE was won by seven researchers from the USA, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK for studying how, and why, wombats make cube-shaped poo.