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Your search for IgNobel Prize returned 16 results.


My career in poetry

20th January 2017 I am stimulated to write this post by the news that the “celebrated American poet Joseph Charles McKenzie” has composed a poem to celebrate Donald Trump’s inauguration. The poem contains the immortal lines “With purpose and strength he came down from his tower To snatch from a tyrant his ill-gotten power.” Now I don’t know Mr. ...

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55. How to win an IgNobel Prize (by one who “succeeded”)

In the last post I suggested that the use of blue light to stimulate erections was a sure-fire candidate for an IgNobel Prize. But what is an IgNobel Prize? How does one go about winning one? And should one want to win one? When they were initiated in 1991 as a parody of the real Nobel Prizes, the answer to the last question was “certainly not!” When Marc ...

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52. The man who fed Prozac to clams

Harvard has slipped to sixth in the Times Higher Education’s list of the world’s top universities (https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2017/world-ranking#!/page/0/length/25/sort_by/rank_label/sort_order/asc/cols/rank_only). I wonder whether part of the reason might be its continued sponsorship of a ceremony that seems to be the antith...

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24. Curious letters to scientists I: Cast your bread upon the waters …

Before the days of the Internet, letters were the most common form of communication, and scientists received some very curious letters from people whom they did not know and who they had never heard of. I have myself received some beauties, especially after I received an IgNobel Prize for using physics to work out the best way to dunk a biscuit. My intentions were ...

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Science at Sea

QE2 Cruise February 24, 2004 - March 8, 2004 1. Science in Everyday Life From cleaning wine stains off a carpet to removing recalcitrant screws with damaged heads, science has an answer. 2. The Science of Gastronomy Leading chefs are increasingly using science to create new dishes and improve traditional ones. This talk reveals the secrets of how they do it, and ...

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Counter-Intuitive Science

Times Higher Education Supplement, January 2003 Scientists and non-scientists alike are intrigued by experiments that seem to show the world operating in a counter-intuitive way. The presenters of the Today programme are no exception, which is why I found myself shivering in my driveway on the coldest morning in January several weeks ago, demonstrating to an ...

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A Scientific Picnic

New Scientist Summer is the season for open-air concerts, where the ticket reads "bring a picnic and chairs". The picnics in our part of rural Somerset are competitive affairs, with elaborate candelabra and equally elaborate dishes on display. At one recent concert my wife Wendy, tired of being upstaged, turned to me and said "You are a food scientist. Why can't ...

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A Life in Science

Interview for Venue Magazine, December 2000 1. A bit of background stuff; where and when born, parents' occupations. Where d'you live? Any kids? I was born in Sydney, and moved to England in 1989. My father was an engineer who died when I was fourteen. Even so, he taught me as much about practical physics as I ever learned at University. I love science, but ...

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A Scientist in the Media

Chemistry in Australia, October 2000 Wise travellers carry an emergency kit for those times when they find themselves in unknown and potentially dangerous situations. No situation is more dangerous for scientists than to be in the hands of the media. It happens to many of us at some stage in our careers. Some of us even seek it. The key to a successful outcome is ...

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Ig Nobel Ceremony Honors Nutty ‘Scientific’ Research

Harvard College Gazette U.S. newspaper story about the IgNobel prizes with pics of what happens on stage, with real Nobel Prize winners (!) sweeping up paper darts that have been thrown by the audience. The ceremony was all great fun, and featured “Miss Sweety Poo”, a charming eight-year-old girl whose job was to come up to speakers who exceeded the thirty ...

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