American columnist Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic (with further reference to the UK Guardian) recently drew our attention to an annual back-handed celebration of junk science: the Ig-Nobel awards, handed out to the most ludicrous projects (many of them scientific) which have managed to make it to publication during the preceding year.

Amongst the latest crop of awards, the Ig-Nobel for Peace went to The Air Force Wright Laboratory, Dayton, Ohio, for instigating research on a chemical weapon to make enemy soldiers sexually irresistible to each other. Even more preposterous was the award for Medicine, given to Brian Witcombe of Gloucester and Dan Meyer of Antioch, Tennessee, for their report in the British Medical Journal, ‘Sword Swallowing and Its Side-Effects.’ Clearly the Asylum Society now spans the Atlantic and indeed the globe.



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