JUNK SCIENCE

Harvard Awards Ig Nobel Prize

The Nobel prize announcement may still be a week off, but Harvard’s science humor magazine, Annals of Improbable Research, has something to whet your appetite. Each year, it awards the Ig Nobel prizes for serious scientific research on topics that seem anything but serious. And this year, the Ig Nobel prize for medicine went to a group of Dutch scientists who found that the "positive emotional stress" of being on a rollercoaster diminished shortness of breath among asthma sufferers. Which is nice. Other recipients included a group of American researchers who discovered that bearded scientists posed a health risk to their families because bacteria remained in their facial hair, even after washing. And Italian physicists won the Management Prize after mathematically proving that random promotions within a company actually made it run more efficiently.