Awards given to silly sci­ence

The Week - Junior - - Science And Technology -

First make peo­ple laugh then make them think,” is the slo­gan for one of the silliest awards in sci­ence. The Ig No­bel Prize is in its 27th year, and this year’s theme was “un­cer­tainty”.

Ten win­ners in sub­jects rang­ing from physics to bi­ol­ogy were given prizes for their wacky re­search, on 14 Septem­ber.

The physics award went to sci­en­tists from France, Sin­ga­pore and the US for their re­search into whether cats can be con­sid­ered both a solid and a liq­uid. Their ar­gu­ment was that cats can be both be­cause of a fe­line’s abil­ity to adopt the shape of any con­tainer.

The win­ner of the anatomy prize was UK doc­tor James Heath­cote, for his re­search into why old men have big ears. He found that as time goes on and peo­ple get older, grav­ity pulls the ears down, mak­ing them big­ger.

Ears get big­ger be­cause of grav­ity.

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