First Laugh, Then Think

First Laugh, Then Think

It’s official. the IGs are in. Ignoble is a word rarely heard in everyday conversation. Merriam-Webster defines it as meaning, “of low birth or common origin, or characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness.”

The 25th First Annual Ig® Nobel Prize Ceremony was held last week at Harvard University. Improbable.com reported, “Winners traveled to the ceremony, at their own expense, from around the world to receive their prizes from a group of genuine, genuinely bemused Nobel Laureates…” Winners completed research that made people laugh and then caused them to think.

  • The Management Prize went to Gennaro Bernile, Vineet Bhagwat, and P. Raghavendra Rau, authors of ‘What Doesn't Kill You Will Only Make You More Risk-Loving: Early-Life Disasters and CEO Behavior.’ They examined the link between CEOs’ early-life exposure to major fatal disasters and the financial and investment policies adopted by their companies. They found, “CEOs who experience fatal disasters without extremely negative consequences lead firms that behave more aggressively, whereas CEOs who witness the extreme downside of disasters behave more conservatively.”

  • The Economics Prize was awarded to the Bangkok Metropolitan Police, which implemented a new policy in an effort to reduce bribery. They pay a bonus to police officers who refuse to accept bribes, even though the officers are required by law not to accept bribes. (It’s a concept that may resonate with parents.)

  • The Literature Prize went to Mark Dingemanse, Francisco Torreira, and Nick J. Enfield, who presented evidence and arguments supporting the idea that ‘huh?’ is a word, and that it “is found in roughly the same form and function in spoken languages across the globe.”

If you’re interested in learning about the ignoble undertakings of other winners (who documented chicken walking like dinosaurs, created bee sting pain indices, and completed other thought-provoking experiments), visit www.Improbable.com

Think About It

“A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.”

--Steve Martin, American comedian

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