The Loom

*Very* Branded with Science

&otYesterday I asked whether many scientists tattooed themselves with their science. The answer is yes, at least for about a dozen people who responded with their own bodywork, which now appears at the end of the post. Here’s the latest, from an invertebrate biologist. As a tattoo-free person, I keep wondering, when does the screaming stop?

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Comments

  1. #1 PZ Myers
    August 7, 2007

    I’m similarly uninked, but think it would be very cool to do that kind of decorating. There’s only one person who gets to see me with my shirt off, though, and since she’s opposed, it’s not ever going to happen.

  2. #2 Jeremy Bruno
    August 7, 2007

    Beautiful work. I’m well-inked myself, and I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to open the door here, Carl. Many people still consider tats to be taboo, stuck in the “sailor’s come to port” mentality. It has become a culture that cuts through cultures, so to speak; even scientists are doing it. ;-)

  3. #3 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    August 7, 2007

    That’s a nice collection there. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this person is an entomologist? Just a hunch.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    August 7, 2007

    By the way, is there a front view?

  5. #5 Carl Zimmer
    August 7, 2007

    Yup” here.

  6. #6 PZ Myers
    August 7, 2007

    Very cool and very ambitious. Does she have tenure?

  7. #7 Carl Zimmer
    August 7, 2007

    Tenure track. Hence, anonymous.

  8. #8 Jim Lemire
    August 7, 2007

    Tenure track. Hence, anonymous.

    C’mon, she can’t really have kept that ink hidden or a secret. Unless she wears a burqa. Or dresses like Diane Keaton, I suppose.

  9. #9 bug_girl
    August 8, 2007

    oh man. I need the name of her tattoo artist! Jealous!

  10. #10 DianeAKelly
    August 8, 2007

    I don’t have any tattoos, and I never will, because I’m a big chicken. I didn’t even get my ears pierced until I was 25. But one of the things that pushed me over the line to becoming a pierced person (although a run of the mill one) was a gorgeous pair of earrings made of mink bacula that fellow grad student Tierney Thys gave me for Christmas that year. So I guess you can say I got pierced for my science. (And since then, I’ve been amassing a nice collection of biology-related earrings. The bacula were just the beginning!)

  11. #11 buglady
    August 8, 2007

    Wow, so many nice comments about the tattoos- I worked so hard for them :). Honestly, they aren’t so bad or I wouldn’t keep going back. I’ve heard it said that anywhere that tickles is also a painful place for a tattoo, and that’s definitely been the case for me. Also from personal experience, don’t let your tattoo artist play “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” while he’s working on the inside of your elbow. It’s the only time I almost passed out.
    I do show my tattoos at work but I don’t make a production out of it. I was going to wait until tenure to get my sleeves extended to the wrists but oh well!
    Almost all of my work was done by Nick Wiggins at The Mark of Cain Tattoos in Champaign, IL. The link to his shop is:
    http://www.markofcaintattoos.com
    It only seems to work in Firefox.

  12. #12 Gretchen
    August 14, 2007

    As a tattoo-free person, I keep wondering, when does the screaming stop?

    Screaming? I have three tattoos and never once have screamed during their implementation. It feels pretty much like having somebody snap you with a rubber band, over and over.

    As a researcher of evolutionary patterns, I’m looking forward to acquiring a special tattoo of an animal exhibiting a camouflage technique in a particularly beautiful way. But sadly, it won’t happen until the PhD is awarded (gift to myself). I’ll try and remember to send it to you.

  13. #13 RonaldVanKoutrik
    October 3, 2007

    Dear reader,

    Wow, that’s by far the most beautiful tattoo I ever saw. The color, the pattern, very beautiful.

    With kind regards,

    Ronald;)

  14. #14 ...tom...
    February 12, 2008


    It feels pretty much like having somebody snap you with a rubber band, over and over.

    Pretty much leaves me out..!!

    And I am sure that ‘frontal’ pic towel hides more than a little ink. Oh well, best to leave something to the imagination they say . . ..

    .

  15. #15 deuxbits
    February 16, 2008

    Incredible – inspirational. I’m not inked and probably never will be, but I admire the combination of beauty and statement. I’m a faculty person/scientist and not that surprised at the expression of love for their subject. I must admit this exterior manifestation of her geek pride evokes an intense curiosity about the person within.

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