Saturday, May 31, 2008

Science Tattoos!

For many years I have wanted to get a tattoo. I've balked at the price and at the lack of seemingly decent tattoo parlors around where I live, but I've decided to go ahead with what I can find.

And what kind of tattoo am I getting? A flaming skull? A heart inscribed with my lovely wife's name? Pictures of my kids? "Momma"?

No, of course not. I'm a scientist, after all. It's got to reflect my scientific interest (no offense to Mom, my wife, my kids, or skulls, thank you).

I am choosing to have permanently inked into my left upper arm the image at left. It is the first critter I studied, while as an undergrad. I studied the Cottonwood Borer beetle's reproductive anatomy and behavior in GREAT detail. Yes, not all science is for the betterment of mankind, but I found it fascinating, and still do. The beetles are about 2 inches long from the front of their head to the tip of their butt (though the antennae are longer). That little research project (which also involved learning some pretty detailed and traditional procedures and instrumentation) led to years of entomological research, then toward a career in biotech. The beetle isn't exactly colorful, but the story behind it means a lot to me. Sadly, we never published the work.

And then yesterday I came across this amazing blog dedicated to nothing else than documenting science-themed tattoos, imprinted onto scientists who study those topics:

http://carlzimmer.typepad.com/

Absolutely fascinating! People have sent him pictures of their tattoos on everything from evolution to zoological anatomy, subatomic particles to mathematics, computing to ecology.

Some of my favorite examples from those pages include THIS one, THIS one, THIS one, THIS one, and THIS one (but it is so hard to choose!). Enjoy!

5 comments:

Imprinted Pens said...

Science Tattoos! how genius! and original and unique! ugh im so over all of these heart tattoos and such and such, its about time someone came up with an original idea!!!

Cheers,
Sage

Angry Lab Rat said...

The link is changed. Here is Carl Zimmer's new science tattoo blog:
http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/category/science-tattoo-emporium/

Anonymous said...

cool!!

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