Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Other Prize

After the prizes from Stockholm all scientists dream about, it's time for their light-hearted counterpart, the Ig Nobel Prizes. Sir Bob May (of "chaos" fame) will probably be even more upset this time given the enviable performance of scientists from both Australia and the UK.

One of my favorites is the Peace prize:
Claire Rind and Peter Simmons of Newcastle University, in the U.K., for electrically monitoring the activity of a brain cell in a locust while that locust was watching selected highlights from the movie "Star Wars." (Rind FC & Simmons PJ, 1992. Orthopteran DCMD Neuron: A Reevaluation of Responses to Moving Objects. I. Selective Responses to Approaching Objects. Journal of Neurophysiology 68, 1654-66.)