Science Tattoos

Carl Zimmer, the blogging science journalist, mentioned in a recent post that he has a biologist friend with a DNA tattoo on his shoulder. He went on to offer to post pictures of any scientific tattoos that people cared to send him. So many people sent him pictures that he started a Flickr photo set on the topic. There are currently 81 photos there.

I like this one of Darwin’s first diagram of a branching tree of speciation. Earlier this year a Darwin exhibit came to the Boston Museum of Science and I remember being mesmerized by that picture. And any fan of alchemy will appreciate this symbol of the Philosopher’s Stone.

People are sometimes surprised when they see scientists being passionate or emotional. But science, after all, is just a way for people, often passionate angry people, to come to agreement in spite of their emotions. Logic channels energy, but it can’t create it. I like these tattoos because they hint at something dark and subtle in the part of the lawn that Occam’s razor can’t trim.

One thought on “Science Tattoos”

  1. I’m happy to see most of the DNA tattoos depict the major and minor grooves rather than symmetrical helix so popular in the media. It makes the tattoos all the more sciency and gratifying. I’ve often thought about what sort of a tattoo I would get: I’d probably go with tRNA (, preferably the ribbon model for artistic reasons.

    Regarding Occam’s razor, our lawn care choice is Occam’s Blacktop — because the simplest solution is the right solution.

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