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Humans dressed as polar bears and other wacky research

The Ig Nobel prize ceremony is coming to Copenhagen, and will showcase the year's most eccentric results in science, medicine and technology

Is laughter the best medicine or the best way to study medicine? The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony prides itself on bringing honour to questions like; how can we make sense of the minds of people who see the face of Jesus in a piece of toast?

On 27 March the University of Copenhagen has invited the Ig Nobel Prizes of 2015 tour of Europe for the second year running. Ig Nobel Prize founder, mathematician Marc Abrahams, will bring recent wacky, yet informative research to Copenhagen. The Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony prides itself on bringing honour to ”achievements that make people laugh, and then think,” according to their website.

”I like to call the Ig Nobel a tiny explosion of the mind because the science sort of creeps up on you. You start off thinking this research is quite silly, but really it gives you insight into the basis of science, which is experimentation and collection of data,” says Jes Andersen, communication officer at the department of Chemistry at University of Copenhagen.

25 years of bizarre research

Past laureates include the use of nasal packing with strips of cured pork as a treatment for ”uncontrollable” nosebleeds, aesthetic value of paintings in relation to pains thresholds, and a dog’s sensitivity to small variations of the Earth’s magnetic field.

The main gala ceremony is held every September in Harvard’s Sanders Theatre, US. This year will commemorate 25 years of odd, funny and creative research. Though this research is unlikely and often bizarre, these results are to be taken seriously.

It is important to recognize that these prizes are given to respected research, which has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The night will begin with an introduction from Marc Abrahams, who will discuss the ceremony at Harvard University and some of the most recent prize winners

This year’s highlights

Following this introduction, three Ig Nobel Prize winners will explain or even demonstrate their achievements.

Jaroslav Flegr, Charles University (Ig Nobel Prize in public health, 2014) will explain his investigation of whether it is mentally hazardous for a human being to own a cat. Eigil Reimers, Universitetet i Oslo (Ig Nobel Prize in Arctic science, 2014) will discuss his testing on how reindeer react to seeing humans who are disguised as polar bears.

Finally, Yoshiro Nakamatas of Tokyo, Japan (Ig Prize in nutrition, 2005) will talk about his photography and retrospective analysis of every meal he has consumed during a period of 34 years (and counting).

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