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Norway’s Special Place in Nobel and IgNobel

Norway’s Special Place in Nobel and IgNobel
Photo: Todd Van Hoosear

Norway celebrated its first Nobel Peace Prize in Medicine several weeks ago. But Norway’s international fame in science is not limited to this prestigious award.

Ten days ago, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine jointly to Norwegian researcher couple May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. With this prestigious award, Norway has celebrated a rightful victory.

But Norway’s international fame is not limited to this pioneering research. Despite Norway’s modest position in research in general, Norwegian researchers have managed to secure more “victories” in various branches of science competitions.

The famous IgNobel , which is known as paradoy Nobel Prize, awarded at Harvard University, is one of those platforms in which several other Norwegians were appreciated for their scientific works.

Parodi Nobel Prize Went to Norwegian Researchers
Photo: M.Kardel / University | A Man disguised as a polar bear used in the research

This year the prize went for Arctic research by the Norwegian and German scientists Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl for a study they made on rein deers. In their study, Eigil Reimers and Sindre Eftestøl tested how reindeer react seeing to humans who are disguised as polar bears.

It is not the first time a Norwegian received this famous prize. The first victory went to Martha Kold Bakkevik from SINTEF in Trondheim and her colleague Ruth Nielson from the Technical University of Denmark. They won the prize for their exhaustive study, “Impact of Wet Underwear on Thermoregulatory Responses and Thermal Comfort in the Cold.”

One year later, in 1996, the Ig Nobel in Public Health was bestowed on Ellen Kleist of Nuuk, Greenland, and Harald Moi of Oslo, Norway, for a medical investigation of the “Transmission of Gonorrhea Through an Inflatable Doll.” The study was also published in Genitourinary Medicine, Vol. 69, No. 4, August 1993, p. 322.

In the same year Anders Bærheim and Hogne Sandvik of the University of Bergen, also deserved the award for their report, “Effect of Ale, Garlic, and Soured Cream on the Appetite of Leeches.”

Just after 3 years, the prize was presented to another Norwegian, Dr. Arvid Vatle of Stord, for carefully collecting, classifying, and contemplating which kinds of containers his patients chose when submitting urine samples.

And a well deserved psychology ig Nobel went to Karl Halvor Teigen of the University of Oslo in 2011, for trying to understand why, in everyday life, people sigh.

Ig Nobel Prize, a parody of the Nobel Prizes goes to scientists who have “done something that first makes people laugh, but then make them think”. Prizes are awarded in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace studies, health, engineering, art, Arctic research and economics.

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