I have always had a certain fondness for slightly off-the-wall events, and one of my favorite annual events is the Ig®Nobel Prizes, awarded by the journal Annals of Improbable Research.
The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people’s interest in science, medicine, and technology.
Although there are generally one or two awards that are based primarily on spectacular stupidity, most of them are given for real, published research that meets the fundamental criterion above. I’ve also enjoyed blogging about the Prizes, since I started this blog in 2009; my posts about the awards are here: 2011, 2010, and 2009..
This year’s Prizes are scheduled to be awarded this evening at the usual venue, Sanders Theater at Harvard University in Cambridge MA.
In the meantime, Wired has an article and photo gallery from previous years’ IgNobel awards.