Ig Nobel Prize 2018 – research that make you laugh

In a few weeks this year’s Nobel Prize winners will be announced, but last week the ceremony for an alternative Nobel Prize was held: The Ig Nobel Prize ceremony. The Ig Nobel Prize honor achievements that make people laugh, and then think, with focus on unusual and imaginative research.

You can read a summary of all ten prizes if you go to the Ig Nobel Prize blog, but here we name three of the ten prizes that were handed out:

The prize in anthropology went to research conducted at Lund University; research on monkeys where three researchers collected evidence of zoos showing that chimpanzees imitate humans to the same extent, and at least as well, as humans imitates chimpanzees. Here you can find the article describing the research: Persson, T, Sauciuc, G.A. & Madsen, E. (2018) Spontaneous cross-species imitation in interactions between chimpanzees and zoo visitors. Primates 59(1), ss. 19-29.

The prize in literature goes to research that illustrates how users use certain literature, namely manuals. Researchers at Queensland University of Technology have studied users’ use of manuals for complicated products, and among other things conclude that younger people tend to be less likely to read the manual. Here’s a small piece of the abstract to the article (which unfortunately is not openly available, or available through library subscriptions):

We found that manuals are not read by the majority of people, and most do not use all the features of the products that they own and use regularly. Men are more likely to do both than women, and younger people are less likely to use manuals than middle-aged and older ones. More educated people are also less likely to read manuals. Over-featuring and being forced to consult manuals also appears to cause negative emotional experiences.

The price in medicine goes to research on methods to get kidney stones to pass through the body. In the current research, the effect of a rollercoaster ride on kidney stones has been studied. And it was found that a rollercoaster ride can be a way to get kidney stones to pass, and the best results are given if you take a rear seating position in the train.The article describing this research can be found here: Mitchell M.A., Wartinger D.D. (2016). Validation of a Functional Pyelocalyceal Renal Model for the Evaluation of Renal Calculi Passage While Riding a Roller Coaster. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 116(10), ss. 647-52.

Now are we just waiting for the announcements of the winners of the real Nobel Prize. The first winner will be presented at 1 October 2018.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Photo– chimpanzee: Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash
Foto – rollercoaster: Multa Media, Unsplash

The Nobel Prize 2017 – a brief summary

On Sunday it’s the Nobel Day again; here you will get a brief presentation of the prizes and the research behind them, as well as some tips for further reading on each prize.

Medicine

This year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine is shared between three different researchers; the prize is divided equally between Jeffery C Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young. They are awarded the prize for their research on the biological clock that all living organisms have inside. That living organisms adapts to the differens phases of the day have been known for a long time, but Hall, Rosbash and Young have found out how this 24-hour cycle actually works. This has led to the development of a new fast-growing research field, important for human health (1).

If you want to read some of the articles where the research behind the prize is presented, you’ll find three of them in the library’s collections.

Physics

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics is also shared between three different researchers. Half the prize goes to Rainer Weiss and the other half is divided between Barry C. Barish and Kip  S. Thorne. All these three researchers have participated in research on the universe’s gravitational waves. The waves, which was predicted by Albert Einstein a hundred years ago, was finally captured in 2015. This is ground breaking and something that will revolutionize astrophysics as new unseen worlds open up. There will be a plenty of new discoveries about the universe to be made by those who succeed in capturing gravity waves (2).

A big collaborative project for this research is LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) where all three reserachers are involved (2).

Chemistry

This year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is, as the previous two prizes presented, shared by three researchers, namely Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson, who equally share the prize. These three researchers get the prize for their contributions to the development of a method that has played a major role in the development of biochemistry. The method is called cryo-electron microscopy and is used to develop three-dimensional structures in atomic resolution of biomolecules. Among other things, it has been used to take prints on proteins that cause antibiotic resistance and the zika virus (which can be seen in the image to the right) (3).

If your search in Primo, you will find plenty of articles where the method has been used.

Litteratur

This year’s Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world” (4). Ishiguro’s stories often explores the themes: memory, time and self-delusion, something that becomes very clear in his most famous novel The Remains of the Day – a book that also became a film with, among others, Anthony Hopkins (5). Here you will find a list of all the books available in the library’s collections.

Fredspriset

This year’s Peace Prize is awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, “the organization is receiving the award for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons”. Among other things, the campaign has been the driving force behind that the UN member states adopted the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (6). At the award ceremony in Oslo, Executive Director of the campaign Beatrice Fihn will receive the prize together with Setsuko Thurlow nuclear bomb survivor, who was 13 years old when her hometown Hiroshima was bombed by the United States in 1945 (7). The image comes from one of ICAN’s campaign events around the world.

Ekonomi

The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel is this year awarded to Richard H. Thaler for his contribution to the behavioral economics. Thaler’s research moves within three subjects: limited rationality, social preferences and lack of self-control. The results within these three areas have laid the foundation for the new and rapidly expanding research area of behavioral economics. In the library there are two of Thaler’s books, including Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness – which is about how we daily make a lot of different decisions, but unfortunately it is often quite bad decisions we make. The book is thus about what we can do to make better decisions. In addition, there are a lot of articles by Thaler to read – here is a list of those found in the library collections.


(1) The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet (2017). Press release 2017-10-02.
(2) The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2017). Press release 2017-10-03.
(3) The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2017). Press release 2017-10-04.
(4) Svenska Akademien (2017). Press release 2017-10-05.
(5) Svenska Akademien (2017). Biobibliographical notes.
(6) Den Norske Nobelkomite (2017). Press release 2017-10-06.
(7) ICAN (2017). Atomic bomb survivor to jointly accept Nobel Peace Prize on ICAN’s behalf. 
(8) The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (2017). Press release 2017-10-09.

Text: Katharina Nordling
Bilder: Mostphotos (om inte annat anges).

The Nobelprize Laureates

The Nobelweek was started with the prize in Medicin being awarded to John O’Keefe and  May-Britt and Edvard Moser “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”. Among the publications we can offer the following in fulltext (search for the titles in Summon):

Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Moser, M.B., and Moser, E.I. (2005). Microstructure of spatial map in the entorhinal cortex. Nature 436, 801-806.

Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I., Moser, M.B. (2004) Spatial representation in the entorhinal cortex. Science 305, 1258-1264.

There is also a scientific background available.

The following day the Physics prize was awarded jointly to Isamu AkasakiHiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”. The scientific background is a good place to start and there are no specific publications mentioned but if you search for the laureates in Summon you get several publications to choose from.

The prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to Eric BetzigStefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. The scientific background and a search in Summon on any of the laureates gives good insight on the subject.

On thursday it was time for the The Nobel Prize in Literature which was awarded to Patrick Modiano for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation”. We have a few books in his native language french in the library, 4th floor, shelf Hj -Modiano.

The first week of announcements was ended with the Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded jointly to Kailash Satyarthiand Malala Yousafzai “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education“. If you search for any of them i Summon there will be access to several articles about both of them and their respective story from magazines and newspapers from all over the world.

The last laureate was presented on monday of this week, The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was awarded to Jean Tirole “for his analysis of market power and regulation”. The library holds his book The theory of corporate finance and several articles available in fulltext via Summon. There is also a scientific background to start with when learning more on the subject of his research. 

Nobel-Prize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text: Lisa Carlson

Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and Nobel Banquet

Nobel day is 10th December and it is celebrated in the Blue Hall of Stockholm City Hall. The Award Ceremony has been held there since 1934. The Nobel Laureates are presented their prizes, a medal, a diploma and money. Before they are awarded the prize they give a short speech of the work which has led to the Nobel Prize. After the Prize ceremony the Nobel Banquet follows. Average ages of a Nobel Laureate is 59 years, 45 times it has been awarded a woman and 6 persons or organisations have received the prize more than once. e.g. the International Red Cross has received Nobel Peace Prize three times (1917, 1944, 1963) and Marie Curie has received the prize for both physics (1903) and chemistry (1911). More facts about the Nobel Prize.

Swedist Television will be sending the Award Ceremony and Nobel Banquet. You can follow the celebrations at Svtplay.

You can find lots of information about the celebrations and Nobel Laureates at Nobelpize.org; images and video clip from previous celebrations. There is video from the Award Ceremoneis, menus for the previous Banquets and even pictures of the Queen’s gala dresses.

Follow the discussions on Twitter at #NobelPrize

Pieta Eklund

 

 

Nobel Prize Controversy

When the Nobel Prize Laureates are announces it sometimes creates controversy. Most often it is The Nobel Peace Prize that creates the most controversy and there are a couple of reasons for this. We are reminded of all existing conflicts and inequalities. There is also different ideas about what Alfred Nobel meant with his will and how it should be interpreted. There is also controversy regarding who chooses the Laureates.  According to the will Nobel wanted the prize to be given to “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind” and “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”. Read full text of Alfred Nobel’s will.

Some of the Peace Prize Laureates from the couple of last years’ are Liu Xiaobo (2010), Barack Obama (2009) and Al Gore (2008) have been critized. Xiaobo for being oscure and unknown among the Chinese youth, Obama for getting too soon and not yet deserving of the Prize and Gore for his work with environmental questions cannot be related to a conflict.

Even the other Nobel Prizes create controversy. Just a couple of days ago a stem cell pioneer sued the Nobel committee for its statement why the Nobel Medicine Prizes is awarded Shinya Yamanaka of Japan and John Gurdon of Britain. There are even some Laureates who have declined the prize more or less because of their own will. In 1937 Adolf Hitler forbade German nationals to accept any Nobel Prizes because the Peace Prize was awarded Carl von Ossietzky, a German writer who openly critized Adolf Hitler. The ban affected three other German researchers. They did receive their certificate and medal later. You could also do what Jean Paul Sartre says has done: decline the prize because an author should not allow himself/herself become an institution. Nevertheless, he wanted to get the prize money. Or you could do what most of the Nobel laureates do: accept the prize as a recogonition of a lifetime achievement.

Text: Pieta Eklund

The nobelprizes 2012 and our collection

In the University Library in Borås, you can find articles in Summon by all this year’s prizewinners in:

Physics:  Serge Haroche  and David J. Wineland

Chemistry: Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka

Fysiology or Medicine: Shinya Yamanaka and John B. Gurdon

Economics: Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley

The articles featured here are all available in full text. You may need to identify yourself with your log on credentials to get access to the articles. Please contact the library if you are having trouble.

You can also search for free articles by the scientist in Wiley Online Library (this is just one place to look for free materials). Just search for the author and then identify the ones that are freely avaible with this symbol:

free_wiley

Or take a look at this page from ScienceDirect, they’ve listed their articles with free access of this years nobelprize winners.

There are also a lot of youtube lectures and other materials about the prizewinners.

For example a physics tv-show with David J. Wineland titled Physics for the 21st Century: David Wineland: The Quantum World Single Ion Clocks.

Two lectures by Robert J. Lefkowitz titeled Seven Transmembrane Receptors and  Beta arrestines.

A lecture by Shinya Yamanaka from 2011.

Alvin E. Roths lecture with the title What Have We Learned from Market Design

There are also interviews like this one with John B. Gurdon.

You can read a lot more on the official Nobelprize website.

Text: Lisa Carlson

The Noble Prize

young_alfred_nobelThe foundations for the prize was laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel left much of his wealth to be managed in trusts and to be used yearly to award men and women for outstanding achievements in Science. There are five Nobel Prizes awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. In 1968 The Swedish National Bank created a prize for the Economic Science. Although not a Nobel Prize it is announced and awarded at the same time, 10th of December. The Noble Peace Prize can be awarded to institutions but the others are awarded to an individual.

There is a nomination process and selection process. The documents regarding selection of the winners are sealed for 50 years.

The Nobel Laureates will be giving a public lecture about the subject they received the prize for. Check out the lectures at the official youtube channel: youtube.com/thenobelprize from 3 pm December 7th. You can also visit the Official site of the Nobel Prize for more information.

Text: Pieta Eklund