Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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HansV
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Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by HansV »

Ig® Nobel Prize Winners

My favorite is the Medicine Prize "for using cadavers to explore whether there is an equal number of hairs in each of a person’s two nostrils" :doh:
Best wishes,
Hans

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John Gray
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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by John Gray »

Surely you must also supply us with the answer!
Is it:
    * Yes?
    * No?
    * "it depends"?
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That amounted to nothing.​​

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HansV
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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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Best wishes,
Hans

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RonH
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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by RonH »

Having glanced at the summary list of winners, I have to wonder 'what next' :scratch:
CYa Ron
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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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You have to laugh but at the same time it's worrying that someone somewhere funded these efforts while there are real world medical problems out there that require research but there's no funding.

Ken

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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stuck wrote:
15 Sep 2023, 14:53
You have to laugh but at the same time it's worrying that someone somewhere funded these efforts while there are real world medical problems out there that require research but there's no funding.

Ken
Firstly, there may well be used. The toilet which analyses poo seems to be something which has potentially a big use. And it's possible that research for something which appears completely useless may have a use somewhere down the track. Many discoveries have come about this way. A university colleague I reconnected with recently has been trying to determine why the teeth of one particular species of fish is so hard. It has potential use in industry - or it may turn out to be useless and ig Novel worthy.

Secondly, if we're looking at the usefulness of funding - what about funding for many disciplines which have no apparent real world use? Is a deep knowledge of the causes for a war in 500BCE really helpful in solving the problems of today? What about music, philosophy, or even sciences like astronomy? An Australian university has just started eliminating "non useful" courses. It's a potential slippery slope.

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stuck
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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by stuck »

Fair point, I didn't think it through very well.

Ken

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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GeoffW wrote:
17 Sep 2023, 00:10
...An Australian university has just started eliminating "non useful" courses.
Someone should fund a research project on this. :innocent:

I suspect that one reason for the explosion of studies is the explosion of the population.

Today there are millions of post-graduates whereas fifty years ago there were (say) just hundreds of thousands.
Each post-grad has to find something that has not-yet-been studied, and with the internet searches available this must be getting more and more difficult.

I bet someone somewhere has already developed an algorithm for optimal sub-division of a vegetable plot into reachable sub-plots with fallowing spatial intervals for a cold-climate grass-clipping composting fanatic. That'd be just my luck.
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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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GeoffW wrote:
17 Sep 2023, 00:10
[...]. And it's possible that research for something which appears completely useless may have a use somewhere down the track.
(article in Spanish from El País)
A scientist who publishes a study every two days shows the darker side of science

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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That's ridiculous!
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Hans

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by GeoffW »

I was talking with somebody tonight. It shows
1. A field of study which appears useless
2. It turns out there's a real world use for it (in medicine)
3. There's no funding for it

He studied the way neurons behave in chicken brains.
He wrote a peer reviewed paper in a respected paper which showed that blocking a particular protein could prevent brain damage.
He developed a drug which could be used to give to people who have just had a stroke, to prevent permanent damage.
However, he can't get funding. He is retired from university, so no funding there. And drug companies aren't interested because they are are not enough people in the situation to be able to make money from it.

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by PJ_in_FL »

robertocm wrote:
18 Sep 2023, 06:35
GeoffW wrote:
17 Sep 2023, 00:10
[...]. And it's possible that research for something which appears completely useless may have a use somewhere down the track.
(article in Spanish from El País)
A scientist who publishes a study every two days shows the darker side of science
So perhaps "follow the science" isn't always a good idea?
PJ in (usually sunny) FL

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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Looking for a scientific answer (as rigor). I've just made a fast test for investment decisions.

Let's search AFINSA in Google Scholar for a period of years between 2000 and 2005 (Google Scholar, Specific interval). At first sight, research seems to focus towards the benefits of "investing in tangible goods", a topic in which there was quite support for publishing.

For example, i'm seeing "Investment in philately as a refuge value in the face of economic turbulence" from 2005.

Shortly after, it was discovered as one of the biggest pyramid scams in Spanish history, with thousands of people affected.

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by John Gray »

robertocm wrote:
18 Sep 2023, 15:53
For example, I'm seeing "Investment in philately as a refuge value in the face of economic turbulence" from 2005.

Shortly after, it was discovered as one of the biggest pyramid scams in Spanish history, with thousands of people affected.
Hence the well-known saying:
"Philately will get you nowhere"...!
John Gray

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That amounted to nothing.​​

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

Post by jonwallace »

Jumping in late here.

I worked alongside University staff and students for years (I was employed by the NHS, but I was based in a teaching hospital. In addition, some of our Doctors were actually University employees) and when I was in ther Virology section, I was tasked with finding Honours degree projects for the students that were foisted sorry allocated to us.

It was flippin hard to find original topics for research in diagnostic virology that haven't been done to death already and that we could afford (that's the important bit). When we did find a good topic, we had to keep it fairly quiet in case some other opportunistic sod stole the idea, because that's another problem. University staff have to publish or lose their jobs (or at least get a good bollocking). And they have they same dearth of projects (so they're not averse to "borrowing" a topic or publishing stuff based on their student's work) and budget constraints as everyone else.

I wasn't involved with the PhD students but their problem was worse, because they had to find a topic that they could write a huge dissertation on AND spin off lots of papers from.

So every year, when I scan the IG Nobels, I think, yup, there's an Honours or PhD project.
John

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Re: Ig Nobel Prizes 2023

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extracted from:
Manzano-Arrondo, Vicente, ¿Qué estamos haciendo mal en la universidad?
(pdf article available searching in Google)
“Look, teaching is ok. There are those who are only good for that. But university is research. Here the one who counts is the one who investigates. And to investigate, you have to know what is succeeding in scientific publications, which journals are at the top of the rankings and what topics they publish. They are the Q1 magazines. I am Q1. If a topic, if a project, if a team is not oriented to publish in Q1, I won't even move. Not worth it. Take some advice: look for Q1 people and stick to them; avoid the rest.”