Synchronized hearts, constipated scorpions and gossip “pros” on the menu of the Nobel of the improbable

With a little more than two weeks ahead of the Nobel Prize winners who, accompanied by the essential compunction for serious things, will punctuate the first days of October, their wacky but no less scientific preamble was held on Thursday, September 15: the Ig Nobel ceremony. For the – almost – unforgivable who would not yet experience this interplanetary event, of which this year was the 32e edition, let’s remember that the Ig Nobel Prizes (muddy pun with the adjective “ignoble”) reward researchers of so-called “improbable” science, that which asks absurd questions on serious subjects – and vice versa. To use the sympathetic definition that eventually prevailed, these are studies and experiences that first make people laugh and then think.

So we laugh a lot at this ceremony, but not with the lives of the spectators. Pandemic obliges, for the third consecutive year the award ceremony did not take place at the Sanders Theater at Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) where usually the schoolboy public sends paper planes on the stage and where a little girl 8-year-old, cheeky as hell, tells the winners to shut up when their acceptance speech drags on. A sign of the viral and digital times, it was therefore online that the improbable was celebrated under the leadership of its lord, the American Marc Abrahams, and with the “presence” of real Nobel Prize winners who virtually transmitted the awards. to the winners.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Marc Abrahams, pope of unlikely science

Tradition has it that several works concerning the human body are crowned and the 2022 vintage is no exception. Thus, in the “Cardiology” category, a study was singled out showing that, in blind dating sessions, the attraction of participants for each other was revealed by the synchronization of their heartbeat (and also by that of the electrical activity recorded on their skin). Which proves that symbolizing love with a heart isn’t all that fancy.

An Ig Nobel Peace Prize

The Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine went to a team from the University of Warsaw which brought to light that cryotherapy capable of calming inflammation of the mouth following aggressive chemotherapy obtained better results when the cold agent was consisting of… ice cream. Japanese researchers have won awards in the engineering sector after investigating the best way to use fingers to turn a knob…

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