The Ig Nobel prize, which celebrates unusual and imaginative research and runs parallel to the Nobel Prizes, has been awarded to Dr James Cole, Principal Lecturer in Archaeology from the university’s School of Environment and Technology. He received his award at Harvard University in Massachusetts, USA, last night.
Dr Cole’s research shed more light on the habits of our ancient human ancestors, some of whom were cannibals. He said: “I’m honoured my research has been recognised in this way. Human cannibalism is a subject that continues to hold a morbid fascination within modern societies. In particular, identifying the motivations for human cannibalism remains a contentious issue.”
The Ig Nobel award, organised by the USA magazine Annals of Improbable Research, is respected as a means of spurring interest in science, medicine and technology and a way to honour research that “makes you laugh, and then think”. The prize ceremony is co-sponsored by Harvard-Radcliffe Society of Physics Students and the Harvard-Radcliffe Science Fiction Association, with genuine Nobel Laureates handing out the prizes.