Saturday, 15 September 2018

from the annals of improbable research

Ludicrous as some of the entrants may be, none of the laureates of the Ig Noble prize (previously here and here)—a competition started back in 1991, meant to engage and to “first make people laugh and then make them think”—are without scientific merit and this year’s winners have recently been announced.
All of them have something innovative and thought-provoking behind their mad scientist persona but we particularly liked the winner in the category of chemistry, who undertook a serious trial to better understand the efficacy of human saliva as a cleaning agent (or indeed as a styling product) and discovered that the intuition and resourcefulness of mothers and conservators was correct and may even lead to isolating the responsible compound and creating a synthetic version.