The Nostril-Hair / Air-Pollution Campaign

The awarding of the 2023 Ig Nobel Medicine prize for research on nostril hairs revives happy memories of a publicity campaign mounted a decade earlier by the organization Clean Air Asia. That campaign introduced itself by saying:

The campaign seeks to highlight, humorously, that urban populations should not adapt to worsening air quality but actually do something about it. The campaign shows a hair sculptor who creates masterpieces from nasal hair illustrating that more hair in noses filters the increasing amount of pollution.

The campaign included this evocative short video:


The Prize for Nostril Hair

The 2023 Ig Nobel Medicine Prize was awarded to Christine Pham, Bobak Hedayati, Kiana Hashemi, Ella Csuka, Tiana Mamaghani, Margit Juhasz, Jamie Wikenheiser, and Natasha Mesinkovska, for using cadavers to explore whether there is an equal number of hairs in each of a person’s two nostrils. (They documented their research in the study “The Quantification and Measurement of Nasal Hairs in a Cadaveric Population,” published in the International Journal of Dermatology.

Nostril Hair at a Public Event

On Saturday, November 11, 2023, prize winners Christine Pham and Natasha Mesinkovska will take part — together with most of the other 2023 Ig Nobel Prize winners — in the Ig Nobel Face-to-Face event at the MIT Museum, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.