Scientist wins both IgNobel and Nobel prizes

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This is pretty awesome. Andre Geim won the Nobel Prize in physics this year, for his work with graphene. Ten years ago, Geim won an IgNobel for using magnets to levitate a frog.

The point: A friendly reminder that the IgNobel awards are not here to point fingers at the useless and foolish in science, but, rather, to draw attention to studies that sound funny, but often have some serious thought going on behind the guffaws. Geim's IgNobel, for instance, was earned in honor of research that involved using a popular magnet toy to make a frog float. But, that research is centered around serious ideas about magnetic levitation, a phenomenon best known for its application in Maglev trains.

One note: Technically, Geim is only the first person to win both awards as an individual.

Bart Knols, who (together with Ruurd de Jong) was awarded the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in Entomology (for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limberger cheese and to the smell of human feet) was also one of the hundreds of employees of the International Atomic Energy Agency who together were awarded a Nobel Prize in peace in 2005.

Read the full IgNobel Awards announcement

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  1. “The point: A friendly reminder that the IgNobel awards are not here to point fingers at the useless and foolish in science, but, rather, to draw attention to studies that sound funny, but often have some serious thought going on behind the guffaws.”

    Not exactly. Rather, some IgNobels go to legitimate science that seems amusing, others *are* slams. For example, this year’s economics prize is a dig at stockbrokers, and the chemistry one is a partial dig at BP.

    1. On the other side is the bat fellatio paper. That paper doesn’t just seem amusing, it is. Legions of seventh graders applaud.

    2. Yeah, and in the past they’ve given plenty of “awards” to practitioners of pseudo-science and research that seemed foolish and useless. In fact, I don’t recollect any of their earliest awards going to anyone doing “proper” science… their intentions with the awards have become quite muddled, unfortunately.

  2. One small correction. According to the improbable.com website, Andre won the IgNobel award with Sir Michael Berry, not alone.

  3. Andrew Geim is also probably the only Nobel prize winner to have authored a paper with a hamster (called Tisha).

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