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Dr Agnieszka Żeleźniewicz from the Chair of Human Biology of the University of Wrocław was awarded the Nobel Prize! Ok… more accurately – Ig Nobel Prize. What is it and how is it possible that a biologist won the prize in… Economics?

Ig Nobel Prize is a satirical counterpart of the traditional Nobel Prize. It is awarded for peculiar scientific publications that “honour achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” This year, they were awarded for the 30th time by the Annals of Improbable Research journal led by Marc Abrahams from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Interestingly enough, one of the Ig Nobel Prize winners – Andre Geim, who received the prize for research on levitation of frogs in a strong magnetic field, later received the traditional Nobel Prize for discovering graphene.

Dr Agnieszka Żeleźniewicz received the prize for the research on the economy of kissing on the mouth, more precisely on the attempt to quantify the relation between inequality of national income and kissing on the mouth. She did the research together with her international team of scientists from the UK, France, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Australia, Italy and Norway.

Other winner this year was Richard Vetter. He received the prize for the discovery that plenty of entomologists are afraid of spiders. Yet another winner was a group of psychologists who devised a method of identifying narcissists by observing their eyebrow movement.

In medical education, the Ig Nobel Prize went to the group of politicians (Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro, Alexander Lukashenko, and Donald Trump, among others) for making use of the COVID-19 pandemic to teach the world that politicians can have more direct influence on life and death than scientists and doctors.

Due to the pandemic situation, the award ceremony this year was held online. All the laureates were given a diploma and a 10 billion dollar bill (more precisely… 10 billion Zimbabwean dollar, which is worth of around a few American dollars.) The moment of handing the award to Dr Agnieszka Żeleźniewicz’s team is to be seen from the 28th minute HERE.


Published by: Dariusz Tomaszczyk

24 Sep 2020

last modification: 24 Sep 2020