weirdest and wackiest science on Earth has its own special place in the
world of academic accolades thanks to Marc Abrahams, editor and
co-founder of the Annals of Improbable Research. Abrahams
awards the annual IgNobels, lavishing attention on studies that answer
questions no one ever thought to ask -- like, "is it possible to
levitate a frog?" (It is.)Now, the Ig Nobel empire is embarking on a new era: In April, the Annals of Improbable Research
finally became available on the web. In an unusual arrangement, an
annual fee of $25 will buy unlimited access to everyone at any
Over the years, the Ig Nobels have gained attention across the globe,
attracting up to 7,000 nominations each year. Ceremony attendees range
from Nobel Prize winners who fly paper airplanes, to the engineer who
did a stress analysis of the strapless evening gown back in the 1960s
-- lots of interesting people show up at the ceremonies.
Ig Nobel winners include
researchers who examined homosexual necrophiliac behavior in the
mallard duck, the multisegmental dynamics of hula-dancing, the
courtship behavior of ostriches toward humans under farming conditions
in Great Britain and the effect of ale, garlic and sour cream on the
appetite of leeches.
Some scientists explored why woodpeckers don't get headaches and what would happen if clams -- yes, clams -- went on Prozac.
Read the interview