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I Nobel Prizes for Dutch Research on Gossip, Maya Enemas and Blind Dates & More Latest News Here


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Three studies in which the Dutch have participated have been awarded the Ig Nobel Prize, the satirically intended alternative Nobel Prizes. This year’s awards include research into Mayan ritual enemas, a mathematical analysis of gossip and evidence of heartbeats on blind dates.

The awards have been awarded for 32 years by the Annals of Unlikely Research (AIR) to surprising and a bit strange studies published in recognized scientific journals. They are awarded shortly before the actual Nobel Prizes are announced and are intended for research that first makes you laugh and then think.

The prize is associated with a cash prize of 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollars, a currency that has not been used since 2015 after hyperinflation. Editor-in-chief Marc Abrahams of the Annals for Unlikely Research gave the winners another compliment at the award ceremony: “If you didn’t win an Ig Nobel Prize tonight – and especially if you do have one – better next time.”

Synchronized Heart Rate

Unlike the Nobel Prizes, the Ig Nobel Prizes have no fixed categories. For example, the Dutch professor of Cognitive Psychology Mariska Kret will receive this year’s prize in the Applied Cardiology category for her research into the heart rate of people who meet on a blind date.

Before that, she and her fellow researchers visited music festivals, including Lowlands, to follow young people on a blind date. In the meantime, they looked at the young people’s heartbeats, which showed that their heartbeats synchronized if they found each other attractive.

Mayan enemas and gossip algorithms

Another Dutch person who won the prize is the emeritus professor of pharmaceutical patient care Peter de Smet of Radboud University. He received the prize in the Art History category for his 1986 research, in which he discovered on the basis of ancient Mayan art that Mayans administered enemas with alcohol to each other to become intoxicated.

The Ig Nobel Peace Prize was awarded for gossip research in which professors Bianca Beersma and Paul van Lange and researchers Kim Peters and Annika Nieper of the Free University participated. They developed an algorithm with which gossips can strategically determine when to tell the truth and when to lie.

Other award-winning studies have explored why ducks swim in a row, how to use your fingers most efficiently when turning a doorknob, and why luck often trumps talent for success. The question of why legal documents are unnecessarily difficult to read and research into the mating chances of scorpions with constipation were also awarded an Ig Nobel Prize.

I Nobel Prizes for Dutch Research on Gossip, Maya Enemas and Blind Dates
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