Pineapple Science Prize launched to promote science

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A ceremony was held in Hangzhou Saturday evening to give away China's first "Pineapple Science Prize", which is designed to honor researches with great imagination and to arouse the public enthusiasm for science.

Jointly launched by China's most popular science and technology social network and Zhejiang Provincial Science and Technology Museum, the first Pineapple Science Prize is expected to promote the country's science popularization.

The awards cover researches in five fields including physics, chemistry, medicine and biology, mathematics, and psychology.

A research proves that counting money has the power to ease pains won the award of psychology. Winner Zhou Xinyue, a professor with the Department of Psychology of Sun Yat-Sen University, published her paper on Nature.

"I designed an experiment to let people count money before dipping their hands into hot water to see how long they can insist on. This experiment was repeated by BBC in a documentary with cold water to tell the affection of money," Zhou said.

The Medical and Biological Award was given to the research of "Y chromosome clues to the ancestry of Emperor Cao Cao," jointly published by researchers from MOE Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Department of History, Fudan University, and CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The prize was awarded by Barry Marshall, Australian physician and Nobel Prize laureate in Physiology or Medicine, and Professor of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Western Australia. Marshall is well known for showing that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the cause of most peptic ulcers, reversing decades of medical doctrine holding that ulcers were caused by stress, spicy foods, and too much acid.

"We are trying to map out the whole stemma tree of the whole nation, and Cao's family was picked up to be the first as Cao Cao's tomb became a newsmaker in early 2010," said one of the paper's writers named Yan Shi from Fudan University.

The Physics Award went to robot hands controlled by a monkey brain, the Mathematics Award to robot dancing at the Spring Festival Gala and the Chemistry Award to the research of chicken soup nutritive materials.

Except for the five awards, the Pineapple prize has another four awards including two special awards of invention and fantasy, as well as two awards to the person or group who have made great contribution to science popularization.

"We name the prize with pineapple, as this nutritive fruit has a bright color and pleasing taste while shaped in a strange way, which indicates that the prize is pleasing, interest, nourishing and a little bit strange ," said Ji Shisan, real name Xiaohua, founder and CEO of

"Pineapple Science Prize is a salute to curiosity. It is the curiosity which lead the humans to one scientific research and another, and it is also the curiosity which takes the mankind to survive till today," said Wang Yami, executive organizer of the prize from

"Imagination is encouraged here, as it is not only a research award. The Imagination can be real science in the future," Wang said.

The winners are all real scientists with real papers published on professional science magazines or presented to academic conferences, at the same time, the expert jury comprises top-level Chinese scientists, Ji Shisan said.

Pineapple Science Prize, with the slogan of "Laugh and Think," was designed differently from 'Ig Nobel Prize.'

"I was inspired by the 'Ig Nobel Prize,' but decided to make the prize more acclimatized to China. By launching the prize, we hope more people will get to know science and science will become more popular among the public," Ji said.

"Some research topics seem to be weird but actually have deep meaning, which inspires us in a different way. The topics might be funny, but the research method should be serious and scientific," Zhou Xinyue said.

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