Tadpoles, eunuchs, Rudy Giuliani

Robyn Williams interviews Ig Nobel Prize winner Richard Wassersug on ABC’s [click to listen] The Science Show:

Richard Wassersug noticed a huge anomaly in the evolutionary trees of tadpoles when compared with frogs. This sparked 30 years of research into the range and variety of tadpoles. Part of Richard Wassersug’s research has involved tasting tadpoles: graduate students were paid to taste tadpoles. They taste terrible. It is suggested this acts as a deterrent to predators. Richard Wassersug has also studied castration. He says castration is often used as treatment for prostate cancer, but there is too little discussion about its effects. Wassersug has noticed that many world leaders have been castrated. Accompanying castration is personality change, the major feature of which is agreeability. This assists, he argues, in handling complex arguments. The reverse is the testosterone-charged sportsperson who acts spontaneously, often with minimal thought. Richard Wassersug currently studies the effects of testosterone deprivation. [NOTE: includes a biological discussion of how Rudolph Giuliani was affected by becoming a eunuch.]