We’ve brought you literary tattoos, math tattoos and librarian tattoos, but now it’s time to take a look at the tattoos of scientists. From astronomers to biologists and from physicists to geographers, these tattooees do a great job at representing the wide array of scientific pursuits.
Special thanks to Carl Zimmer and his fantastic book Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed, which is where many of these great pieces came from.
Trevor has many geeky tattoos, including three directly related to his paleontologist position at the Page Museum, where scientists excavate, clean, study, and mount fossil samples found at the La Brea Tar Pits in LA. He has a frontal view of a Sabertooth Cat skull on display at his museum, the logo of the museum he works for (at top) and the logo of the of the Page Museum's parent museum The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Now that’s some paleontology pride!
2. Schrödinger’s Cat
Fergus is a medical physicist who works with Ionising radiation. He’s also particularly fascinated by the Philosophy of Physics, which is why he got this Schrödinger’s’ cat tattoo, which he believes “shows the concept of uncertainty extremely well.” As if a mere Schrödinger’s cat tattoo wasn’t cool enough on its own, notice that he also included a radiation warning symbol and that the box is, fittingly, one of the impossible variety, as designed by M.C. Escher.
3. Strebe Projection
Geographer Marina Islas has a map of the world on her back, which is very appropriate, given her profession. “It is a Strebe equal-area projection, polyconic," she says. "It took me a year to figure out which projection I wanted to live with for the rest of my life and I stumbled upon the Strebe projection. It’s very organic in shape and I appreciate that it is Afro-centric and not Euro- or Amer-centric.”
Adam Simpson works at the National Center for Computational Sciences and while Newton's second law of Motion and Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence might not directly relate to computers, they’re certainly some of the most famous scientific equations ever devised.
Brazilian biologist Pato Gabriel got a network of neurons tattooed over his shoulder in order to represent the circuitry of the human brain.
Heather got the chemical compound of dopamine tattooed on her side after she started working in a behavioral neuroscience lab. If only getting a tattoo of dopamine actually helped feed it into your system, a whole lot of people would stop hitting the pharmacy and start hitting the tattoo shop.
7. Italian Wall Lizard
Russell Burke is a biologist at Hofstra University, where he studies, among other things, Italian Wall Lizards like the one he has tattooed here.
8. A Jellyfish
Dave Wolfenden is a lecturer at Reaseheath College in England, where he teaches about animal science. As a big fan of the jellyfish, it was only fitting he get a tattoo of the fascinating creature.
9. A Passionflower
While Sherrie Emerine studies invasive plants, she was inspired to get the vines of the passionflower tattooed on her leg because “the plant is really lovely and the flowers are botanically unique, and because it fulfills many of the requirements for ornamental plants, but has the benefits of native species.”
10. Halley's Comet
Kate Devitt is a memory researcher at Queensland University of Technology and her husband, Morgan Jaffit, is a game designer. The two have matching tattoos of Halley’s Comet based on the Bayeux Tapestry depiction of the comet just before the 1066 Norman Conquest.
11. A Spaceship
Bobby Magee, aka Flickr user Spacemanbobby, got this great tattoo of a spaceship traveling through the galaxy as his second tattoo. Fittingly, Bobby is an astronomer and ex-rocket scientist, although he is currently working on computer networks. In case you’re wondering, his first tattoo shows a twist in the fabric of time.
Now it’s your turn to share any great geeky ink you have with the world, whether you’re a scientist with tattoos or anyone with a science-related tattoo. Post a picture or a link to your picture in the comments.