IgNobel Prize

How I Won an IgNobel Prize for Using Physics to Work Out the Best Way to Dunk a Biscuit


Crumbs I’ve Got a Prize

Posted on October 3, 1999

One of many newspaper stories that appeared at the time when I received an IgNobel Prize. Most were friendly, and showed recognition that this was a serious effort to make science accessible by showing how scientists think about the little problems of everyday life. View image of article

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Cup Runs Over for Scientists Who Can Take a Joke

Times Another media story about the IgNobel Prize, and using my quote “One way to make science accessible is by talking about the science of the familiar”. View image of article

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Brits Take the Biscuit

Posted on October 2, 1999

BBC Radio News, October 1999 Journalists had a funny feeling about Len Fisher when they visited the Englishman's Bristol University laboratory. Anyone who spends that much time and effort researching the best way to dunk a biscuit in a cup of tea has to be in line for a top award - and so it proved. At a ceremony in front of 1,200 spectators and a worldwide internet audience, Len Fisher was honoured with the Ig Nobel Prize for physics. ...

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Scientific Spectacles

Times Higher Education Supplement Summary This article, published in the Times Higher Education Supplement in October 1999, was one of my first in which I advanced the proposition that science belongs along with literature, philosophy and art in our culture as a way of understanding how the world works. I still hold by most of what I said then. Full Text Harvard University’s Sander Theatre was packed last week for an event for which ...

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Proud to be Silly

New Scientist, October 1999 Feedback (9 October) is delighted with my Ig Nobel prize for the physics of biscuit dunking. So am I. As I pointed out in my acceptance speech at Harvard, this was the first British win at a Boston Tea Party for over two hundred years. A high point of the ceremony was supposed to be the descent of a huge biscuit into a tap-dancing teacup. Unfortunately the biscuit missed, rather spoiling the joke. Without ...

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Here Come the Prize Idiots

Posted on September 30, 1999

The Guardian “Here come the prize idiots” came as a shock headline about the IgNobel Prize from a newspaper for which I had written quite a few articles. It was one of the things that stimulated me to suggest to the organizers that a new slogan was needed which reflected more accurately what the prizes are now about. As a result, the slogan has been changed to “First, they make you laugh; then, they make you think”. View image of ...

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