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Each year at Harvard's Sanders Theatre,more than 1,000 spectators watch actual Nobel laureates hand out awards to scientists who engage in deeply unusual research on everything from the self-esteem of the inebriated to the effects of opera on mice who have undergone heart transplants. The purpose of the Ig Nobel Prizes is to "make people laugh, then think." The winners' work, though sometimes seemingly ludicrous, is founded on hard science and often sheds new light on areas most have overlooked.
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