The Ig Nobel Prizes make people laugh, and then make them think. Included in this new edition are: the Dutch scientist who investigated homosexual necrophilia in mallard ducks, the Swedish team that looked into chickens' preferences in humans, and the man who made it possible for someone to rent the entire country of Liechtenstein for corporate events. Sometimes, as in the latter case, Ig Nobel Prizes could not be awarded without the entire nation getting behind the researchers. As before, there is an irresistible blend of serious science and complete incredulity at the way the human quest for knowledge takes us into ever more obscure areas of research.
Marc Abrahams is a Harvard mathematician and is the editor of 'The Annals of Improbable Research'. He founded the Ig Nobel Prizes in 1991, and it now receives worldwide coverage. He has a weekly column in the Guardian.