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Science, Jonathan Swift, and the Ig Nobel Prizes

A September 11, 2021 editorial in The Guardian focuses on the Ig Nobel Prizes, Jonathan Swift, and science, though not necessarily in that order:

The editorial begins:

In Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift mocked the assumption that the scientific revolution had transformed European culture for the better. The satirical novel, published in 1726, has its eponymous hero stumbling upon “the Academy” in the fictional city of Lagado, and pokes fun at the idea that a scientific temperament could be useful. Swift describes pointless experiments to extract sunbeams from cucumbers and to build houses from the roof downwards. His book is laced with sardonic wit. But unorthodox, even absurd, thinking is necessary for science to progress.

That point has been underlined by this week’s winners of the Ig Nobel prize, established in 1991…

On the other hand or hands

To see some alternative takes on the Ig Nobel Prizes, dip into a wee  collection of press reports, from yon and hither, about them.

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