Priceless discoveries: Ig Nobel winners scoop $100 trillion prize

With $10 trillion in prize money given to each of the 10 winners of this year’s Ig Nobels – the Nobel-esque prizes for comical scientific achievement – it’s fair to say lives will be changed.

With $10 trillion in prize money given to each of the 10 winners of this year’s Ig Nobels – the Nobel-esque prizes for comical scientific achievement – it’s fair to say lives will be changed.

Not necessarily for the winners, mind you, whose cash prize is in the form of a single Zimbabwean $10 trillion note and therefore virtually worthless; but potentially for hundreds, if not dozens, of people around the world who stand to benefit from the entrants’ discoveries.

Ig Nobel prizes are awarded to category winners (or winning teams) for scientific advances that “make people laugh, then think”. Usually held at Harvard University, this year’s 32nd First Annual Ig Nobel Prize ceremony was an online affair due to COVID concerns.

So, what did the world learn this year? Well, our now-trillionaire winners discovered:

  • What makes legal documents unnecessarily difficult to understand. (Literature Prize, co-won by an Aussie)
  • Mathematically, why success most often goes not to the most talented people, but instead to the luckiest. (Economics Prize, with the winners having also scooped the prize in 2010 for demonstrating mathematically that organisations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random)
  • That when new romantic partners meet for the first time, and feel attracted to each other, their heart rates synchronise. (Applied Cardiology Prize)
  • How constipation affects the mating prospects of scorpions. (Biology Prize)
  • An algorithm to help gossipers decide when to tell the truth and when to lie. (Peace Prize, co-won by an Aussie)
  • When patients undergo some forms of toxic chemotherapy, they suffer fewer harmful side effects when ice cream replaces one traditional component of the procedure. (Medicine Prize)
  • The most efficient way for people to use their fingers when turning a knob. (Engineering Prize)
  • How ducklings manage to swim in formation. (Physics Prize)

A study on ‘ritual enema scenes on ancient Maya pottery’ (Art History Prize) and the development of a moose crash test dummy (Safety Engineering Prize) rounded out the categories.

As we said, life-changing stuff. How the winners will choose to spend their cash prizes, meanwhile, is anyone’s guess.

Sources:

 

This Week’s News

News

16 April 2024

Gold at record highs – so why aren’t gold stocks?

News

22 November 2023

Rare Earths Industry Review: Part 2

News

22 November 2023

Rare Earths Industry Review

General Advice Warning

Any advice provided by Reach Markets including on its website and by its representatives is general advice only and does not consider your objectives, financial situation or needs, and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. This might mean that you need to seek personal advice from a representative authorised to provide personal advice. If you are thinking about acquiring a financial product, you should consider our Financial Services Guide (FSG)

including the Privacy Statement and any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Prospectus (if one is available) to understand the features, risks and returns associated with the investment.

Please click here to read our full warning.