The Nobel Prizes come out this week. The Nobel Prize for medicine was announced today - Monday. It will be followed by physics on Tuesday, chemistry on Wednesday, literature on Thursday, the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday and economics on Monday Oct. 11.
Robert Edwards, from the UK, won the medicine prize for his work pioneering In Vitro Fertilization: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/nobel_medicine
On a related subject, the Ig-Nobel prizes were announced last week. These prizes are a parody of the Nobels, and reward science that is genuine science, but perhaps is unintentionally humorous; or are given in satire (example - see the 2010 economics and chemistry prizes, below.) Usually, scientists who are awarded an Ig Nobel do actually show up to the ceremony and accept their award. Which amuses me to no end.
Examples from this year's winners (citation - Ig Nobel website):
* Engineering: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.
* Medicine: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller coaster ride.
* Peace: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.
* Economic: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.
* Chemistry: Eric Adams, Scott Socolofsky, Stephen Masutani and British Petroleum, for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.
* Management: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.
Article on the awards ceremony: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/20...rch-new-nobel/