Jeff Hecht in New Scientist:
“I have always hoped to win a real Nobel prize for medicine,” Francis Fesmire of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine told New Scientist. Nevertheless, he settled for the Ig Nobel prize in medicine instead, handed out along with nine other Ig Nobel prizes in a Thursday evening ceremony at Harvard University in Massachusetts, US.
It might be some consolation to note that a real Nobel prize winner was pushing a broom on stage to sweep away the paper airplanes traditionally thrown by the audience. The Annals of Improbable Research, which produces the Ig Nobel ceremony, points out that the 10 years that Harvard physicist Roy Glauber has spent sweeping the stage did not affect his selection as a physics laureate in 2005.
Fesmire, a specialist in emergency medicine and cardiology, probably did not have a real Nobel in mind when he published “Termination of intractable hiccups with digital rectal massage” in Annals of Emergency Medicine (vol 17, p 872). He was, it transpires, attempting to help a man who walked into the emergency room after hiccuping for 72 hours at up to 30 times a minute.