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Press release

The science of hen friendship and canine-tail chasing - the Ig Nobel Tour comes to London

27 February 2013


The famous Ig Nobel Prizes, a celebration of bizarre and humorous scientific achievements, will be coming to central London on April 4 as part of the Ig Nobel European Tour.

The Ig Nobel Prizes reward achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honour the imaginative and spur people's interest in science, medicine and technology.

Guests attending the free event, hosted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), will witness a number of wacky presentations from past Ig Nobel winners, including a study of scrotal asymmetry in ancient sculptures and the real reasons dogs chase their tails.

Siobhan Abeyesinghe, who will present her research, entitled ‘Do hens have friends?’ at the event, said:  “Laughing engages us, it’s beneficial to our health, its social and it means things stick in our minds. We often laugh at something unexpected but then wonder why?

“This is an opening for engagement between us - I get the opportunity to explain my reasons for what seems like an unlikely endeavour, and hopefully more people go away thinking ‘Ohh, actually that’s quite cool...what else do scientists do?’”

Professor Andy Hopper, IET President, said: “Everyone at the IET is really excited to be hosting this event. A big part of our vision is to promote science and technology subjects, especially amongst young people.

“The Ig Nobel Prizes really highlight the unusual and humorous ways science can be applied, and I think this will help to engage people’s interest with the subject.”

Now in its 22nd year, the Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prize. The awards were created and produced by Marc Abrahams, editor of the scientific humour magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR). This year’s winners will be announced at the Ig Nobel ceremony at Harvard University in September.

More information about the event can be found on the IET Ig Nobel website.

Media enquiries to:

Katie Stanton
Communications Executive

Tel: +44(0)1438 765608
Mob: +44(0)7738 713867
Email: kstanton@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • The IET is Europe’s largest professional body of engineers with over 150,000 members in 127 countries.
  • The IET is helping to plug the shortage of future engineers and technicians by working with schools to show young people the benefits of STEM careers.
  • We offer a professional home for life for our members as well as being a source of essential engineering intelligence for wider society.
  • Follow the IET on Twitter
  • Further details will be tweeted under #IgUKtour