Watchmen Daily Journal

Ig No­bel Prize

- Science · Literature · Arts · Japan · Harvard University · Harvard University · Massachusetts · Manchester · Nobel Prize · Scientific Awards · Urayasu · Improbable · Andre Geim · University of Manchester School of Physics and Astronomy · University of Manchester · Meikai University

Afive-year-old child pro­duces about half a liter of saliva a day.

That’s what re­searchers at Meikai Univer­sity in Urayasu, Ja­pan, have found from a study of 30 chil­dren con­ducted 24 years ago.

The re­searchers re­ceived on Sept. 12 the Ig No­bel Prize in Chem­istry dur­ing the award­ing rites at Har­vard Univer­sity.

Pro­fes­sor Shigeru Watan­abe, an oral health sci­en­tist, re­ceived the award in be­half of fel­low sci­en­tists whose aim was to find the role played by saliva in the health of chil­dren’s teeth.

The re­searchers mea­sured the weight of food be­fore and af­ter chew­ing. The par­tic­i­pat­ing chil­dren took a bite of food and then spit it out for re­searchers to mea­sure.

The au­di­ence at Har­vard was amused when Watan­abe’s three sons, now adults, chewed bananas to show how they par­tic­i­pated as chil­dren in the re­search.

Dr. Watan­abe, who was and still is se­ri­ous about the re­search, said there is some­thing spe­cial about be­ing awarded an Ig No­bel Prize, re­ported NHK, Ja­pan’s na­tional broad­cast­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The Ig (for Ig­no­ble) No­bel prizes was started in 1991 as a par­ody of the No­bel awards and hon­ors “achieve­ments that first make peo­ple laugh, and then make them think.”

Given for dis­cov­er­ies “that can­not, or should not, be re­pro­duced”, it was cre­ated by Marc Abra­hams, ed­i­tor and co­founder of the An­nals of Im­prob­a­ble Re­search, a sci­en­tific hu­mor mag­a­zine also known for its acro­nym AIR, and ed­i­tor-in-chief of the Jour­nal of Ir­re­pro­ducible Re­sults.

Awards in­clude the No­bel Prize cat­e­gories of physics, chem­istry, phys­i­ol­ogy/ medicine, lit­er­a­ture and peace and also other cat­e­gories such as pub­lic health, en­gi­neer­ing, bi­ol­ogy and in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary re­search.

They are pre­sented by No­bel lau­re­ates in a cer­e­mony at the San­ders The­ater in Har­vard Univer­sity and are fol­lowed by the win­ners’ pub­lic lec­tures at the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy.

In 2000 the Ig No­bel Prize in physics was awarded to Sir An­dre Geim for the mag­netic lev­i­ta­tion of a live frog. Ten years later, in 2010, Dr. Geim of the School of Physics and As­tron­omy at the Univer­sity of Manch­ester, won a No­bel Prize in Physics for his work with graphene, a type of car­bon such as graphite and char­coal.

He is the only sci­en­tist who has re­ceived both a No­bel and an Ig No­bel prize.

The live frog study is an ex­am­ple of hu­mor­ous or un­usual sci­en­tific re­search that the Ig No­bel Prize awards.

The award has also been given to Dr. Alan Sokal, a physics pro­fes­sor who sub­mit­ted a hoax study and ridiculed So­cial Text for pub­lish­ing his “re­search” with­out peer re­view. The spoof was ti­tled “Trans­gress­ing the bound­aries: To­wards a trans­for­ma­tive hermeneu­tics of quan­tum grav­ity”.

Pre­vi­ous awards were given to sci­en­tific ar­ti­cles that have some hu­mor­ous or un­ex­pected re­sults. These in­clude the dis­cov­ery that hu­mans tends to sex­u­ally arouse ostriches; that black holes are the lo­ca­tion of hell; and what is known to many Filipinos as the “five-sec­ond rule” which states that food dropped on the floor is still clean and safe to eat when picked up within five sec­onds./

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines