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Yes, We Have Bananas

The Colorado State Board of Education and the Kansas State Board of Education were jointly awarded the 1999 Ig Nobel Prize for Science Education. Neither winner attended the Ig Nobel ceremony. But each has continued to promote science education in its own distinctive ways.

On October 11, Professor Douglas Ruden of the University of Kansas went to a meeting of the Kansas State Board of Education and formally presented the Board with its prize. You can read about the ensuing delight by going to the AIR press clippings page.

Colorado Bananas

On October 12, a florist delivered a gift from the Colorado State Board of Education to AIR's editor, Marc Abrahams -- a basket of bananas (pictured above) with a card that reads:

                --the Colorado State Board of Education

This thoughtful gift is undoubtedly a reference to N.W. Simmonds's classic book, The Evolution of the Bananas, [1962, London, Longmans]. The book is, unfortunately, out of print. Residents of, and visitors to, Colorado might be able to obtain a copy by visiting the Board of Education.

Several days a letter arrived, It was written by Clair Orr, the chairman of the Colorado Board. You might enjoy reading and attempting to understand the letter (click here to see a copy of it).

Eventually, thanks to the bananas from Colorado, more people will read about scientific discoveries, ask their own questions, and think their own thoughts. For surely, the Colorado State Board -- like all good educators -- would never want people to accept or reject ideas simply because someone "authoritative" tells them to.

This article is adapted from an item in mini-AIR.
© copyright 1999 Annals of Improbable Research