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article imageGolden Goose awards announced for obscure science

By Tim Sandle     Sep 14, 2013 in Science
Like the Ig Nobel Prize, researchers behind high-impact studies that at first seemed obscure have been honored in another round of prizes: the Golden Goose awards.
The Golden Goose Award officially recognizes scientists in the U.S., whose federally funded basic research has led to innovations or inventions which have a significant impact on humanity or society. The aim is to recognize economically or societally significant basic research that, at first glance, seemed outlandish or frivolous. In fact, the research is often has significant health and economic benefits. The awards began in 2012.
The awards are similar to the Ig Nobel Prizes, which are given for the best ten unusual or trivial achievements in scientific research (for the 2013 winners, see this Digital Journal report).
With the 2013 Golden Goose prizes, awards were doled out to mathematicians who invented a marriage algorithm and biologists who discovered a thermophilic bacterium. The prizes can relate to any period of history.
In terms of the research originally appearing a little odd but later having a significant impact, take the marriage calculation. In 1962, mathematicians Lloyd Shapley and David Gale created a marriage algorithm designed to place the maximum number of men and women with their perfect matches. Economist Alvin Roth later applied the algorithm to many other constructs, resulting in programs that today help match kidney disease patients with transplants and new doctors with appropriate hospitals.
For the 2013 awards, the winners will be recognized in Washington, D.C., on September 19.
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