Book details of 'The Ig Nobel Prizes'
|Title||The Ig Nobel Prizes|
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Reviewer Koos van den Hout wrote:
This book is another great book from the Annals of Improbable research (a scientific journal about science that can not and should not be reproduced).
The book lists scientific research and papers that make you think 'eh? what? why?'. Especially in interesting medical research where papers seem to be published about strange cases seen by medical specialists. There is also more semi-politics, such as the awarding of an Ig Nobel peace price to "Jacques Chirac, President of France, for commemorating the 50th anniversary of Hiroshima with atomic bomb tests in the Pacific."
The book also tells about the Ig Nobel prices and the Ig Nobel ceremony.
A fun read, especially if you do have something to do with science and scientists.
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
Once upon a time, there was a magazine known as the Journal of
Irreproducible Results (JIR) (cf. BKBSTJIR.RVW and BKSEX.RVW).
Reproducibility being the touchstone of scientific utility, it was
devoted to publicizing scientific research which either cannot or
should not be reproduced. There are some who say that the Annals of
Improbable Research (AIR) is the continuation of the Journal of
Irreproducible Results. There are others who will sue you if you do.
Suffice it to say, then, that AIR is either Mad magazine's answer to
science or science's answer to Mad magazine, and nobody is quite sure
The Ig Nobel awards have been given out each year since 1991. The
ceremonies are hilarious, as can be seen from the video clips on the
Web page at http://www.improbable.com/ig/ig-top.html. The prizes
celebrate terrifically bad science (such as studies into the memory of
water), really misunderstood science (such as the illegality of
chemical glassware in Texas), just plain bizarre science (studies into
the relation of the size of certain parts of the body in relation to
the size of, say feet)--and sometimes pure, dogged determination in
the pursuit of knowledge whose value we have not yet ascertained.
This book outlines the history of, and rationale for, the Ig Nobel
prizes, and describes a representative sample of the winning work. My
personal favorite has been the study which shows that incompetent
people are too incompetent to be able to judge how incompetent they
are. I use PawSense as an example when teaching about biometrics, so
I am delighted to have a reference work to which to direct skeptical
students. And, of course, I am thrilled to note the relatively high
proportion of Canadians honored in these pages.
Marc Abrahams has done a wonderful job of writing up this material.
It's readable, funny, sometimes outrageous, and occasionally poignant.
I highly recommend this book to anyone engaged in scientific or
technical work. I recommend it to anyone else, too, with the warning
proviso from the Electric Company television show: if you're not
careful you may even learn something.
copyright, Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKIGNOBL.RVW 20030201
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