‘Man-goat’ among winners of spoof Nobel prizes
A man, who lived as a goat in the Alps, and a scientist who studied how pants affect the sex drive of rodents are among this year’s spoof Nobel prizes.
The 26th edition of the annual Ig Nobel Prizes, which celebrate the silly side of science, were handed out at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Friday.
The prizes aim to “celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people’s interest in science, medicine and technology,” organisers said of the event, which featured a traditional onstage paper airplane toss.
The top honor in the reproduction category went to the late Ahmed Shafik from the Cairo University, who died in 2007, for his work that showed how the sex lives of rats are affected by the fabric of pants they are fitted with.
Published in 1993, the study concluded that rats, who wear polyester, have less sex than those who don cotton or wool. The biology prize went jointly to Charles Foster, who lived in the wild several times as animals including a badger, an otter and a bird, and to Thomas Thwaites, who constructed prosthetic legs so he could live three days on all fours and roam the hills with goats.
The winners received a trophy in the likeness of a large clock and USD 10 trillion in cash prizes in essentially worthless, inflation-ravaged Zimbabwean money.