New Delhi: This year, the Ig Nobel Peace Prize is being given to India and Pakistan for “having their diplomats surreptitiously ring each other’s doorbells in the middle of the night, and then run away before anyone had a chance to answer the door,” a reference to incidents that actually took place in 2018.
Meanwhile, the prize for Medical Education has been jointly awarded to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Donald Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mexico’s President Jai Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
They were awarded for using the Covid-19 global pandemic to “teach the world that politicians can have a more immediate effect on life and death than scientists and doctors can.”
The US, India, Brazil and Russia have the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world, with the US, India and Brazil reporting the highest number of deaths.
Lukashenko was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for the second time. He first received the award in 2013 for “making it illegal to applaud in public”.
Not to be confused with the prestigious Nobel Prize, the Ig Nobel is a satirical or parody prize awarded annually since 1991 to celebrate unusual or trivial achievements, mainly in the field of scientific research. They are meant to “first make people LAUGH, then make them THINK”. The name, of course, plays on the word ‘ignoble’.
The awards are organised by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, and the ceremony is co-sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association. The ceremony usually takes place in Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre in September, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s will take place online.
Research on knives made of human faeces among winners
Ig Nobel awards are handed out for categories including Physics, Economics, peace, engineering, medicine and more.
This year’s Economics prize has gone to a team from the UK, Poland, Brazil, France, Colombia, Chile, Australia, Italy and Norway for attempting to quantify the relationship between the national income inequality of different countries and the average amount of mouth-to-mouth kissing.
Canadian psychologists who researched and investigated that one can spot a narcissist by looking at their eyebrows are this year’s winners for the Psychology prize.
Miranda Giacomin, who worked on the study at MacEwan University in Alberta, Canada, said, “I’m definitely more conscious of them (eyebrows) now than I was before, but I’m mostly conscious of other people staring at them once they hear about this research.”
The Ig Nobel for Physics has been given to people who determined what happens to the shape of a living earthworm when it is vibrated at a high frequency, while the Materials Science prize has gone to a team from the US and UK that has proved knives made from frozen human faeces do not actually work.