It’s that time of year: the time when everyone starts publishing holiday gift guides!
I enjoy reading science-oriented gift lists, not only to get ideas for what to give other people (or what to ask for myself) but because they offer the opportunity to celebrate geeky creativity and ingenuity. If you’re buying things as gifts, they don’t have to be utilitarian or practical; they can be unapologetically luxurious, fun, or frivolous.
So to help you shop for the science-lover in your life, here’s a meta-list to get you started:
- Highlights of the Chemical & Engineering News list include a pattern for crocheting lab equipment and science sneakers.
- If you’re looking for science books, Chemistry World has a few good recommendations (points off for calling it a “Christmas” list, though).
- Popular Science has a nice, wide-ranging list that includes all kinds of tech, books, clothes, experiences, and even wishful-thinking items like a teleportation device!
- My favorite might be the list from STAT, which ranges from art based on your own DNA to molecule-design jewelery to stuffed toy microbes.
You can always go straight to platforms like Etsy and Uncommon Goods as well, but prepare to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cool stuff that people are creating and selling. There are also a number of sites dedicated to geeky products, including ThinkGeek and Spectrum Scientifics, which can be another really fun source of ideas.
Whatever you do, and whether your budget is on the scale of nanometers or kilotons, remember that it really is the thought that counts. Your science-loving friends and family will be thrilled that you took the time to think about their interests and passions and find something just right for them.
Updated 12/15/17 to add: Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology or the National Science Foundation.