lunes, 4 de octubre de 2010

The 2010 Ig Nobel Prize Winners

Aquí dejo la información de los Ig Nobel de este año

ENGINEERING PRIZE: Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse and Agnes Rocha-Gosselin of the Zoological Society of London, UK, and Diane Gendron of Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Baja California Sur, Mexico, for perfecting a method to collect whale snot, using a remote-control helicopter.


REFERENCE: "A Novel Non-Invasive Tool for Disease Surveillance of Free-Ranging Whales and Its Relevance to Conservation Programs," Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse, Agnes Rocha-Gosselin and Diane Gendron, Animal Conservation, vol. 13, no. 2, April 2010, pp. 217-25.

MEDICINE PRIZE: Simon Rietveld of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Ilja van Beest of Tilburg University, The Netherlands, for discovering that symptoms of asthma can be treated with a roller-coaster ride.
REFERENCE: "Rollercoaster Asthma: When Positive Emotional Stress Interferes with Dyspnea Perception," Simon Rietveld and Ilja van Beest, Behaviour Research and Therapy, vol. 45, 2006, pp. 977–87.

TRANSPORTATION PLANNING PRIZE: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi of Japan, and Dan Bebber, Mark Fricker of the UK, for using slime mold to determine the optimal routes for railroad tracks.
REFERENCE: "Rules for Biologically Inspired Adaptive Network Design," Atsushi Tero, Seiji Takagi, Tetsu Saigusa, Kentaro Ito, Dan P. Bebber, Mark D. Fricker, Kenji Yumiki, Ryo Kobayashi, Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Science, Vol. 327. no. 5964, January 22, 2010, pp. 439-42.
[NOTE: THE FOLLOWING ARE CO-WINNERS BOTH THIS YEAR AND IN 2008 when they were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for demonstrating that slime molds can solve puzzles: Toshiyuki Nakagaki, Ryo Kobayashi, Atsushi Tero]

PHYSICS PRIZE: Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest of the University of Otago, New Zealand, for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes.
REFERENCE: "Preventing Winter Falls: A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Novel Intervention," Lianne Parkin, Sheila Williams, and Patricia Priest, New Zealand Medical Journal. vol. 122, no, 1298, July 3, 2009, pp. 31-8.

PEACE PRIZE: Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston of Keele University, UK, for confirming the widely held belief that swearing relieves pain.
REFERENCE: "Swearing as a Response to Pain," Richard Stephens, John Atkins, and Andrew Kingston, Neuroreport, vol. 20 , no. 12, 2009, pp. 1056-60.

PUBLIC HEALTH PRIZE: Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews, and Larry Taylor of the Industrial Health and Safety Office, Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA, for determining by experiment that microbes cling to bearded scientists.
REFERENCE: "Microbiological Laboratory Hazard of Bearded Men," Manuel S. Barbeito, Charles T. Mathews, and Larry A. Taylor, Applied Microbiology, vol. 15, no. 4, July 1967, pp. 899–906. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC547091/?tool=pubmed>

ECONOMICS PRIZE: The executives and directors of Goldman Sachs, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, and Magnetar for creating and promoting new ways to invest money — ways that maximize financial gain and minimize financial risk for the world economy, or for a portion thereof.

CHEMISTRY PRIZE: Eric Adams of MIT, Scott Socolofsky of Texas A&M University, Stephen Masutani of the University of Hawaii, and BP [British Petroleum], for disproving the old belief that oil and water don't mix.
REFERENCE: "Review of Deep Oil Spill Modeling Activity Supported by the Deep Spill JIP and Offshore Operator’s Committee. Final Report," Eric Adams and Scott Socolofsky, 2005.
<http://www.boemre.gov/tarprojects/377.htm>

MANAGEMENT PRIZE: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the University of Catania, Italy, for demonstrating mathematically that organizations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random.
REFERENCE: “The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study,” Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo, Physica A, vol. 389, no. 3, February 2010, pp. 467-72.

BIOLOGY PRIZE: Libiao Zhang, Min Tan, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, and Shuyi Zhang of China, and Gareth Jones of the University of Bristol, UK, for scientifically documenting fellatio in fruit bats.
REFERENCE: "Fellatio by Fruit Bats Prolongs Copulation Time," Min Tan, Gareth Jones, Guangjian Zhu, Jianping Ye, Tiyu Hong, Shanyi Zhou, Shuyi Zhang and Libiao Zhang, PLoS ONE, vol. 4, no. 10, e7595.

sábado, 2 de octubre de 2010

I like it

I like it

El coste de las becas

El coste de las becas

Este es el título de uno de los artículos que Elpaís publica en su sección PreParados.
Me guardo todos los comentarios para mí misma, porque creo que la autora del artículo expresa bastante bien el sentimiento de toda una generación de mentes privilegiadas.

Dejo aquí el corolario final:

En resumen, España invirtió en mí, directamente, casi diez millones de pesetas, además de la formación universitaria, y ahora lo está aprovechando otro país: un lugar donde me siento un miembro útil y productivo de la sociedad. El problema más grande es que mi caso no es único. De mis quince compañeros del doctorado, solo dos están trabajando en España, en condiciones lamentables, eso sí, en la Universidad. Solo en nosotros, solo en nuestro pequeño rinconcito de la sala de becarios con sus palomas anidadas en una ventana, el Estado español tiró a la basura 130.000.000. Ciento treinta millones de pesetas que estábamos deseando revertir a la sociedad en aquello para lo que nos habíamos formado, pero no nos resulta posible. Trabajamos un tiempo gratis, mucho tiempo sin contrato, muchas más horas que una jornada estándar, sin sanidad, sin derecho a baja maternal, sin derecho a paro y, sobre todo, sin derecho a quejarnos. Porque éramos unos privilegiados, la creme de la creme de la intelectualidad que iba a llevar a España a cotas nunca antes conocidas. Y eso último es lo único cierto. Somos la generación que va a llevar a España a cotas nunca antes conocidas de desesperación, de frustración, de angustia, de parturientas añosas, de abuelos que van a tener que aprender chino o inglés para preguntarle a sus nietos -por skype- de qué color es la bici que piden a los Reyes Magos en casa de los abuelitos y que les va a llegar por correo.