[ASC-media] Media Alert: Australia's Ignobel Laureates...

JCA Media jcamedia at starclass.com.au
Wed Aug 11 12:09:24 EST 2004


August 11, 2004


Besides its great scientists, Australia also boasts some characters whose research deeds "cannot or should not be reproduced". 

>From analyzing belly-button lint to patenting the wheel, from measuring the force required to drag a sheep, to living on light, to calculating the best way to dunk a tea-biscuit, Australians feature prominently in the Ig Nobel Prizes - a worldwide accolade to research that is wacko, unscientific or plain bloody useless.

Founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, dry-witted humourist Marc Abrahams is touring Australia this month as the guest of National Science Week 2004.

Marc Abrahams is editor and co-founder of the science humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). The magazine publishes both genuine research and satire, in articles that make people laugh - then make them think.

Abrahams is the master of ceremonies of the Ig Nobel Prize Ceremony. The Prizes are handed out by genuine Nobel Laureates at a gala ceremony held each October at Harvard University and broadcast on the Internet. He also writes for The Guardian (UK), and various scientific, medical, engineering and technology magazines. He is author of the new book "The Ig Nobel Prizes" (Orion, UK).

It features such research gems as:
"	compulsive nose-picking in adolescents
"	a patented flamethrower for roasting vehicle hijackers
"	a high-speed spinning table for women giving birth
"	the sociology of Canadian donut shops
"	the effect of ale, garlic and sour cream on the appetite of leeches
"	the tastiness of tadpoles in Costa Rica
"	a UK investigation into why breakfast cereal becomes soggy.

The Washington Post dubbed Abrahams "the guru of academic grunge." The Journal of the American Medical Association called him "the Puck of Science." He gets called many other things. His website is www.improbable.com

Marc Abrahams is available for entertaining media interviews on his trip across Australia. His itinerary and local contact numbers are:

August 10-11 - Sydney, NSW.
August 12 - Canberra, ACT 
August 13 - Perth, WA.
August 15 - Alice Springs, NT 
August 16-17 - Canberra, ACT 
August 18-19 - Melbourne, Vic.
August 20-21 - Hobart, Tasmania 
State contacts for Marc Abrahams' visit:
NSW - Sue Nelson, qtcom at optusnet.com.au, 0403 343 275
WA - Katherine Filippi, K.Filippi at exchange.curtin.edu.au  08 92664234
VIC - Chris Krishna-Pillay, chris.krishna-pillay at csiro.au, 03 9252 6264, 
TAS - Wayne Goninon, Wayne.Goninon at utas.edu.au, 03 6226 7810
NT - Karen Eva-Stirk, Karen.Eva-Stirk at csiro.au , 08 8950 7123
ACT - Megan Bird, megan.bird at asflimited.com.au, 02 62050588

For more information on National Science Week:
Telephone: 02 6205 0281
Mobile: 0407 781 891
Facsimile: 02 6207 0072
E-mail: scienceweek at orac.net.au

For more events in National Science Week 2004, please visit:
Website: http://www.scienceweek.info.au/

National Science Week is supported by the Commonwealth Government Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) and the Department of Industry Tourism and Resources (DITR).

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