2008 Ig Nobel Prizes

Very often, the Ig Nobel Prize is misunderstood as a prize for researchers who wasted their time with complete nonsense investigations. But in fact, the Ig Nobel Prizes acknowledges research that makes people laugh in first place and think in the second. But this year, the Chemistry Ig Nobel Prize is very odd indeed. It was actually awarded to two teams:

CHEMISTRY PRIZE. Sharee A. Umpierre of the University of Puerto Rico, Joseph A. Hill of The Fertility Centers of New England (USA), Deborah J. Anderson of Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School (USA), for discovering that Coca-Cola is an effective spermicide, and to Chuang-Ye Hong of Taipei Medical University (Taiwan), C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang (all of Taiwan) for discovering that it is not.
REFERENCE: "Effect of 'Coke' on Sperm Motility," Sharee A. Umpierre, Joseph A. Hill, and Deborah J. Anderson, New England Journal of Medicine, 1985, vol. 313, no. 21, p. 1351.
REFERENCE: "The Spermicidal Potency of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola," C.Y. Hong, C.C. Shieh, P. Wu, and B.N. Chiang, Human Toxicology, vol. 6, no. 5, September 1987, pp. 395-6. [NOTE: THE JOURNAL LATER CHANGED ITS NAME. NOW CALLED "Human & experimental toxicology"]
WHO ATTENDED THE CEREMONY: Deborah Anderson, and C.Y. Hong's daughter Wan Hong

(Improbable Research; Highlightings in bold face: MD)

One Singaporean won a Ig Nobel Prize, too. Ziv Carmon from INSEAD is one co-author of a prize-winning study that shows that expensive placebos are more effective than cheap ones.

Improbable Research: Winners of the Ig® Nobel Prize. Retrieved, Oct. 6 2008 from: http://improbable.com/ig/winners/#ig2008.

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