2017 cool science gift guide

If it nerds, gift it!

At last! Our seasonal round up of online gifting opportunities that will tickle the corners of your nearest and dearest science nerd’s heart. Although there’s a plethora of tacky science stuff out there—hanging a caffeine molecule on a pendant chain is so last year, and not at all scientific IMHO—I’ve found some really truly coolly awesome items that celebrate all the wonderment of science.

Read/gift on.

Books and magazines

Always a good start for Christmas morning: suitable for young and old, reading material is a great distractor between wake-up time and the Serious Gift Session a little later. Parents, you might just buy an extra hour of peace; spouses/partners/introverts in general, these could be life savers.

Does It Fart? There’s nothing better than a good dose of flatulence humour at Christmas, the season for nutritional overindulgence. Not just for preteen boys, this book answers essential wildlife facts and could make for a pretty cool road-trip game. Authors Dani Rabaiotti and Nick Caruso not only categorize

‘Tis the season…for extremely cool science gifts

Contagious holiday spirit. 3-D printed human viruses for your Christmas tree from Crafty Geeks. From the left: Hepatitis B, Adenovirus, Papilloma Virus. Image courtesy of Crafty Geeks.

‘Tis the season to bestow the gift of science on friends, relatives and work colleagues only marginally brushed by science.

For those who lack an easy familiarity with phages, diatoms, Erlenmeyer flasks and string theory, we have suggestions for easy online gifting that brings science into a previously dark (and dare we say it, dull) life

Or maybe you’ll be swayed by some cool science giftery as well? Read on.

Muses: David Ng

Dr. David Ng is definitely our kind of person. In addition to being smart as a scientist, he’s an excellent and inventive communicator with a great instinct for creating hooks. He’s also very skilled at devising relatable premises that are truly capable of carrying a scientific discussion. I wrote a lot about this in my post on science writing, and Ng is a perfect example. If you plan to write about science for the public you need literary ingenuity in addition to scientific smarts.

A selection of cards from one Phylogame deck. © The individual artists (CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 CA)One of Ng’s more notable creations is the Phylogame. The idea grew from a simple observation: Despite a widespread difficulty with memorizing scientific facts, schoolchildren have a staggering capacity to memorize varieties of Pokemon. So Ng and his collaborators gamified actual animal biology. And this isn’t just a cosmetic operation (though several different styles of starter deck are now available): the game mechanics hinge on scientific knowledge and include variations for different