Nobel Humor

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Apr 28, 2010    •    641 Views

Presented at Harvard with Nobel laureate participation (and based on authentic scholarly research), the Ig Nobel awards are funny but they also make you think. 

As they express it…

The 2009 economics prize went to executives at four Icelandic banks “for demonstrating that tiny banks can be rapidly transformed into huge banks, and vice versa-and for demonstrating that similar things can be done to an entire national economy.”

The 2009 mathematics prize went to the governor of Zimbabwe’s central bank “for giving people a simple, everyday way to cope with a wide range of numbers-from very small to very big-by having his bank print bank notes with denominations ranging from one cent ($.01) to one hundred trillion dollars ($100,000,000,000,000).”

In 2008, behavioral economist Dan Ariely won the Medicine prize “for demonstrating that high-priced fake medicine is more effective then low-priced fake medicine.” 

In 2006, the economics price (to an MIT researcher) was “for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.”

The 2006 Ornithology Prize was “for exploring and explaining why woodpeckers don’t get headaches.”

The Economic Life

Economics need not be the dismal science.


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