Friday, May 24, 2024

Andre Geim, at the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony in Sanders Theatre at Harvard University, is told by Miss Sweetie Poo, “Please stop. I’m bored. Please stop. I’m bored,” as his prize acceptance speech runs over the allotted 60 second. (Photo: Herbert Blankesteijn/Annals of Improbable Research)

With his win of the Nobel Prize for physics last week, Andre Geim became the first individual to have also won an Ig Nobel Prize — the Cambridge-based award for science that “first makes you laugh, then makes you think.”

His Nobel came this year, shared with Konstantin Novoselov, for experiments with the substance graphene). The Ig came in 2000, shared with Sir Michael Berry, for using magnets to levitate a frog, said Marc Abrahams, organizer of the annual Igs and editor of the Annals of Improbable Research magazine.

Technically, Geim is not the very first person to have been awarded both, Arahams said, but he is the first to win both as an individual. Bart Knols, who — with Ruurd de Jong — was awarded the 2006 Ig Nobel Prize in Entomology (for showing that the female malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae is attracted equally to the smell of limburger cheese and to the smell of human feet) was also one of the hundreds of employees of the International Atomic Energy Agency who together were awarded a Nobel Prize in peace in 2005.

Economist Peter Diamond, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, won the Nobel economics prize Monday for his work creating mathematical models for studying match-making such as what goes on with job-seekers and jobs or home buyers and sellers.

This post drew significant amounts of material from a press release.