Carl Zimmer at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Science Ink by Carl Zimmer
Last night Kirsten and I drove to the Harvard Museum of Natural History to listen to science journalist Carl Zimmer talk about his new book, “Science Ink.” It was a fascinating talk. Carl covered the history of tattoos all the way back to Ötzi the Iceman. The bulk of the evening was spent sharing the tattoos from the book and their stories. Scientists are deeply passionate about their work, and the tattoos they get tend to be full of meaning and symbol. The science and story of these tattoos was fascinating.

Three people whose tattoos appear in the book were in the audience. Carl invited them to talk about their own tattoos, which they all did. It was very cool.

I first discovered Carl’s collection of tattoos a long time ago while doing research for my own tattoo ideas. His blog, The Loom, is excellent and contains many wonderful science tattoos, in case you’re interested.

No, Carl does not have any tattoos. :)

After the talk Carl signed books. Kirsten and I waited until everybody was gone to have our book signed. It was great to shake his hand, share a few remarks and show him my tattoo. Kirsten asked him what tattoo he would get, hypothetically of course. He said he would probably get his wife’s name, which is a very bad idea unless it’s hidden in a long strand of DNA. ;)

Brent, Kirsten and Carl Zimmer

Of helixes, neurons, and chemicals: Science author Zimmer uncovers scientists’ tattoos – Harvard Gazette
Science Writer Talks Tattoos – The Harvard Crimson

Harvard Museum of Natural History lecture series

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