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October 07, 2002

Improbable Research is Rewarded

If you need to explain the word "ignoble" to your students, you could try using the annual "Ig Nobel Prize" honors as an example. The awards are handed out each year at Harvard University by the distinctly un-stuffy US science magazine "Annals of Improbable Research" to those engaged in scientific studies that "cannot or should not be reproduced." This year's winners included the Japanese researchers who invented a computerised dog-to-human translation device, which they named "Bow-lingual". Other scientists received awards for reports on such subjects as the "Estimation of the Total Surface Area in Indian Elephants" and "Scrotal Asymmetry in Man and in Ancient Sculpture."

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