Heartbeat on a blind date, Mayan alcohol enemas win Dutch scientists Ig Nobel Prizes
Three studies involving Dutch scientists received won Ig Nobel prizes on Thursday. The good-natured parody to Nobel prizes went to a study into people’s heartbeats on blind dates, an algorithm to help gossips decide whether to tell the truth or embellish, and a study into Mayan pottery that revealed they gave each other alcohol enemas.
The Ig Nobel prizes are awarded every year to research that makes you laugh but then also makes you think. The categories are different every year.
Mariska Kret, a Dutch professor of Cognitive Psychology, was involved in the study that won in this year’s Applied Cardiology category. She and her colleagues from the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Aruba, studied people’s heartbeats on blind dates to find out how it relates to attraction to one another.
The Art History Prize went into a study into ritual enema scenes on ancient Maya pottery. Professor Peter de Smet of Radboud University was involved in this study, which was published in 1986 already. The scientists discovered, based on art on the Mayan pottery, that the Mayans administered alcohol rectally to each other.
The Peace Prize went to a study into honesty and dishonesty in gossip strategies. Researchers from VU University Amsterdam helped develop an algorithm to tell gossips whether it's better to tell the truth or embellish in specific situations.
Other Ig Nobel winners that did not include Dutch researchers included studies into what makes legal documents unnecessarily difficult to understand, how constipation affects the mating prospects of scorpions, ice cream maybe reducing the harmful side effects of some forms of chemotherapy, and how to most efficiently use your fingers when turning a knob.