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Ig Nobel awards honour salutary effects of cursing, roller coasters, and bat fellatio

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c5509 (Published 05 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5509
  1. Jeanne Lenzer
  1. 1Boston

Researchers who investigated the analgesic effects of cursing, the effects of roller coaster rides in people with asthma, and the health benefits that accrued to fruit bats that perform fellatio were among the winners of this year’s Ig Nobel awards, an annual spoof on the Nobel prize awards (BMJ 2010;341:c5533, doi:10.1136/bmj.c5533).

The Ig Nobels honour zany but genuine research that “first makes people laugh, then makes them think.” The awards were handed out on 30 September by actual Nobel laureates at Harvard University’s Sanders auditorium. This year’s ceremonial theme was “Bacteria!” and the audience cheered noisily during an opera about the trillions of germs that inhabit our bodies and far outnumber our own cells.

This year’s physics prize was awarded for research on the anti-skid properties of wearing socks over shoes. Lianne Parkin, a public health physician and senior lecturer in epidemiology at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, was stirred to action when Dunedin’s city council …

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