Matthew Rockloff and Nancy Greer give their acceptance speech after winning the Ig Nobel Economics Prize during ceremonies at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., on Thursday. The pair won for their experiments to see how contact with a live crocodile affects a person’s willingness to gamble. Michael Dwyer/AP hide caption
toggle caption Michael Dwyer/AP
Can a cat be both a liquid and a solid? Does contact with a crocodile influence a person’s willingness to gamble? And do old men really have big ears?
Those are just a few of the questions studied by scientists who received Ig Nobel Prizes at Harvard University on Thursday, at the less-than-prestigious ceremony put on by the otherwise-august institution for the past 27 years.
“Each winner has done something that makes people laugh, then think,” said Marc Abrahams, who founded the awards in 1991 and writes for the decidedly non-peer-reviewed journal Annals of Improbable Research.
This year’s awards in physics, economics, medicine and even an Ig Nobel Peace Prize, included something described as “a replica of a human head supporting a replica of a question mark,” along with a piece of paper saying you won