Gear for the Scientific Activist

If you love science and don't know how to show it, there are a few sites out there that'll be more than willing to help you out. Here are a couple of examples:

i-1c08859412186650084a01a2618e5b23-sos_magnet.gifAt Support Our Scientists, you can buy a magnetic ribbon to show your support wherever you drive. It looks a bit like one of those "Support Our Troops" magnetic ribbons, but it's a little more attractive--sporting the shape of a DNA double helix--and a lot less Orwellian. Hey, if I were back in car-happy America, I'd probably rock one of those.

i-4d4e840351a2b92afea6c4e4fe411b2c-treeoflife.jpgOn the other hand, if you're looking for something to decorate yourself with, I Believe in Science is selling Tree of Life shirts. "The tree sprouts from the dot in the letter i, which is meant to represent the idea of the single common ancestor. Arrows and leaves signify continuing evolution and growth, and the statement 'I believe in science' makes a firm declaration without openly bashing those with opposing viewpoints on the origins of life." Yep, I can respect that.

I'd be even more enthusiastic about these products if I knew the proceeds were going to a good (science-related) cause. But, what the hell, they're cool anyway.

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thanks for the shout, nick! i love the "it works, bitches" shirt! the story of the "believe" part of my shirt is that i was living in the midwest, surrounded by people who never stopped spouting off about their religious faith. after a while, my standard response to "and do YOU believe in jesus christ?", "do YOU believe in our lord god?", etc. became, "no, i believe in SCIENCE." so that's what it comes from. belief and trust does not necessary equal worship -- it was not intended to be a science-as-religion shirt, and i myself do not worship science, etc. actually, the shirt is much nicer than i am when it comes to being snarly towards creationists.

i find that the best thing the shirt does is generate discussion.

meanwhile, donating some proceeds is an excellent idea. as i start hunting around, any recommendations for a worthy science-related cause?


Thanks, as well, from Support Our Scientists. Having you mention us on your blog is certainly the closest we'll ever come to attending Oxford. I feel smarter already.

As for the proceeds, we certainly intend to find worthy causes to support. Our problem, right now, is that there are no proceeds. To make a long story short: high quality + small batch = high cost. The planets - including Pluto for the time being - will have to align for us to avoid losing money. But we don't mind; it's a labor (or labour, if your prefer) of love.

I just didn't want you, or anyone else, to think we're growing rich exploiting science or scientists. And as for having no car, don't let that stop you - there must be an icebox somewhere in the vicinity. We're working on pins, t-shirts and other goodies as well.

Again, thanks for giving us a mention, and best of luck with your studies.

I don't know how much international shipping would be, but I'll have to look into one of those "It Works, Bitches" shirts. If anyone wants to send me one, though, I'll sport it without a doubt.... ;-) I'll even submit photographic evidence!

I wouldn't even know where to start with good science-related causes to donate to--there are so many out there. However, I would note... a hem... that although the official ScienceBlogs/DonorsChoose challenge is open, DonorsChoose's work is ongoing, and there are still plenty of great science projects that need funding (see sidebar).

Being over 50, I have a hard time grasping "bitches" as anything but a misogynistic insult. I'm perfectly willing to believe that "you kids" don't think of it that way, but I really don't think I could wear that shirt. This one's way more my speed!