Pineapple Science Award: spirit of curiosity and imagination is back

First held in 2012 to honor imaginative research, the Pineapple Science Award aims to arouse enthusiasm for science among China’s younger generations.

Pineapple Science Award honored the spirit of curiosity and imagination is back

Popping a champagne cork fires gas at supersonic speeds, fathers recognize their babies’ cries just as well as mothers, and roasting peanuts in their shells is more aromatic: the annual Pineapple Science Award has once again honored the spirit of curiosity and imagination.

Ten seemingly trivial findings or inventions related to serious scientific subjects each won the Pineapple Science Award in Wenzhou, east China’s Zhejiang Province. The award is given to findings in fields such as psychology, physics and mathematics.

Andrew C. Gallup, from the Polytechnic Institute at the State University of New York, won the Pineapple Science Award in medicine. His team found that yawning serves as a cue that can enhance the individual vigilance of observers in social settings.

“I hope this research spurs further curiosity in the behavior that we do each and every day,” Gallup said.

First held in 2012 to honor imaginative research, the Pineapple Science Award aims to arouse enthusiasm for science among China’s younger generations.

“Popular science needs to keep up with the times. The Pineapple Science Award is a proper attempt to allow science to approach the public, and stimulate the imagination of young people through scientific education,” said Wu Xiangping, a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatories of CAS.

A scientifically literate society is central to sustainable development. Yet, the public is exposed to much misinformation, including fake news and pseudoscience. Collaborative efforts are needed to redress the flow of inaccurate information and help improve public understanding of science, delegates heard at the 2019 WCSL, hosted by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) in Beijing in October.

“At the nexus of science education, public outreach, sociology and behavioural sciences, we need to collaborate and develop effective responses to ensure that policymakers and the public are able to distinguish between scientific consensus and pseudoscience,” said Daya Reddy, a Cape Town University mathematician, and chairman of the International Science Council (ISC)’s founding General Assembly.

Originally published at Xinhua News