Man wins Ig No­bel award for liv­ing as a GOAT

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

A BRI­TISH man who lived as a goat for three days is among the win­ners of this year’s Ig No­bel prizes for sci­en­tific re­search.

Thomas Th­waites de­signed pros­thetic limbs that al­lowed him to walk on all fours and graze with goats on a farm in the Alps.

He pub­lished his re­search in a book en­ti­tled GoatMan: How I Took A Hol­i­day From Be­ing Hu­man and his work was recog­nised at the an­nual awards, par­o­dy­ing the No­bel Prizes, which are given out for the most un­usual or triv­ial achieve­ments in sci­en­tific re­search.

Th­waites, wear­ing his pros­thetic limbs, said the award was a “huge hon­our” as he col­lected the prize at a cer­e­mony at Har­vard Univer­sity in the US.

He said: “I got tired of all the worry and the pain of be­ing a hu­man and so I de­cided I would take a hol­i­day from it all and be­come a goat.”

Th­waites shared the bi­ol­ogy prize with an­other Bri­tish au­thor, Charles Foster, who also spent time liv­ing as a va­ri­ety of an­i­mals.

His work, Be­ing A Beast, saw him take on the per­spec­tive of a bad­ger, an ot­ter, a fox, a red deer and a swift.

Foster, a fel­low at the Univer­sity of Ox­ford, told the au­di­ence: “We have five glo­ri­ous senses. Nor­mally we use only one of them — vi­sion. It’s a very dis­tort­ing lens be­cause it’s linked to our cog­ni­tion. That means we get only about 20 per­cent of the in­for­ma­tion that we can squeeze out this ex­tra­or­di­nary world. “An­i­mals, by and large, do a good deal bet­ter. “In an at­tempt to see woods as the re­ally are with­out that dis­tort­ing lens of vi­sion and cog­ni­tion, I tried to fol­low five non-hu­man species; bad­gers, foxes, ot­ters, red deer and ridicu­lously swifts.

“It in­creased my un­der­stand­ing of what their land­scape is re­ally like rather than land­scapes coloured by our colo­nial im­pres­sions of what those land­scapes should be like.

“It also gen­er­ated in me a good deal of em­pa­thy for these an­i­mals and we can do with a lit­tle more of that.”

Volk­swa­gen also got an hon­ourable men­tion, win­ning the chem­istry prize for “solv­ing the prob­lem of ex­ces­sive au­to­mo­bile pol­lu­tion emis­sions by au­to­mat­i­cally, elec­tro­mag­net­i­cally pro­duc­ing fewer emis­sions when­ever the cars are be­ing tested”.

The Ger­man car man­u­fac­turer was em­broiled in a scan­dal af­ter it emerged mil­lions of its ve­hi­cles were fit­ted with soft­ware known as de­feat de­vices to cheat emis­sions tests. — Daily Mail

He grazed with other goats on a farm

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