The 2010 Ig Nobel Prizes

This year’s Ig Nobel Prizes have been announced.

If you haven’t heard of the Ig Nobel Prize, this is from the info page:

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

Well, here are two that made me laugh:

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don’t mix.
REFERENCE: “Review of Deep Oil Spill Modeling Activity Supported by the Deep Spill JIP and Offshore Operator’s Committee. Final Report,” Eric Adams and Scott Socolofsky, 2005.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Eric Adams, Scott Socolofsky, and Stephen Masutani

MANAGEMENT PRIZE: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.
REFERENCE: “The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study,” Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo, Physica A, vol. 389, no. 3, February 2010, pp. 467-72.
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo.


h/t Geeko System

* Thumbnail image is from the flickr stream of Mike Licht,, used under a Creative Commons attribution licence.

Categories: Science

2 replies

  1. I like the ‘Peter Principle’ study. Yes it made me laugh… in part because I suspect I’ve always known that something like that was going on.

  2. I like how the Economics Prize was snuck in there… and the Physics Prize was of course widely reported here in New Zealand!

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