Winner of the «shnobelevki» said about why he measured the ears of the elderly

© REUTERS / Gretchen ErtlЦеремония of awarding the IG Nobel prize-2017. 14.09.2017Winner of the «shnobelevki» said about why he measured the ears of the elderly© REUTERS / Gretchen Ertl

British physician James Heathcote, won the «IG Nobel» prize this year for the discovery of the unusually large size of the ears in older people, started in order to win in a dispute with some colleagues, reports the online portal Phys.org

«When I asked colleagues why older people have such big ears, and assumed, that they grow, about half of them agreed with me, while others thought such a claim absurd. It is very surprising that the Committee decided to honor this study, however, I am glad for this opportunity. In General, the dimension of the ears is something magical,» said Heathcote, speaking at the awards ceremony.

The IG Nobel prize (Ignobelevskoy award, anti-Nobel prize) — one of the most famous international anteprime, a parody of a prestigious international scientific award, the Nobel prize.

The IG Nobel prize was established in 1991, the American magazine «Annals of improbable research» (Annals of Improbable Research, AIR) with the participation of co-founder and editor Marc Abrahams (Marc Abrahams).

Since 1999, is awarded each year ten IG Nobel prizes: the classic «Nobel prize» nominations (physics, chemistry, medicine/physiology, literature, Economics and peace) added the category, the topics are approved each year the IG Nobel Committee separately.

This year’s winner of the award in the field of anatomy was James Heathcote, a doctor from Kent, whose study was published in the prestigious scientific journal BMJ in 1995. Unlike many other «nominees» IG Nobel prize, it is quite a serious scientific work, despite its unusual origin.

By measuring the length of the ears at about 200 elderly patients one of the British clinics, Heathcote found that the ears of the people begin to grow at a rate of several millimeters per decade after they reach the age of 30 years. Due to this the ears of older Britons were about 10 millimetres longer than in young people.

Despite its serious nature, this article has received sarcastic comments from other scientists even before receiving «shnobelevki» due to the fact that it was originally incorrect units of measure, which, as they write, «it turned out that Heathcote was measured, the ears of elephants, not people.»

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