A blog about collaborations between art, science, nature and technology

My Top 10 Science-Art Gift Guide

1. Need a blue mitosis silk scarf for that special cell biologist in your life? $50. Check out Michelle Banks' work Artologica on Etsy for original watercolour paintings and collages that celebrate science. 

2. Paradoxides by Don McKay. $18.99. A new book (2012) of poems by my favourite poet, naturalist, philosopher and birder Don McKay. This book delves into the awe of fossils and deep time. The New York Times says, "These exuberantly musical and shrewd poems are ecological in the fullest sense of the word: they seek to elucidate our relationships with our fragile dwelling places both on the earth and in our own skins." Go buy Canadian science poetry from an independent book store for someone on your list. Now.

3. For those who have to examine everything, why not a microscope plug-in for the iPhone. $17.99. Why Not?! The 60X magnify microscope attaches to any iPhone 4/4S and comes with 2xWhite LED for using under a dark environment. 

4. A One-of-a-Kind Underwater Portrait by Susan Knight Studios. $300-550. Get your gift certificate for a family member, friend or your wee one. The award winning “Mermaid Photographer” from Hawaii is coming to Vancouver February 9, 2013. You can even wear a mermaid tail! A biologist, professional ocean guide, and master scuba diver trainer, Knight has traveled and taught about marine life and the natural world in Canada, the Caribbean and Hawaii for more than 20 years. She has photographed fashion models, dancers, yoga instructors, professional mermaids, performers, actors, swimmers and SCUBA divers.

5. For the calculus junkie who loves to look good in a suit, math cufflinks might be the perfect gift. $37.50. 

6. For the young smartie-pants in your life, try the book Big Questions From Little People: and Simple Answers from Great Minds. $26.99. Many of the questions children ask in the course of growing up can stump even the best educated adult: Why can't I tickle myself? Are we all related? Who named all the cities? Do aliens exist? What makes me me? Is it okay to eat a worm? Who invented chocolate? Answered by some of the greatest experts including Mary Roach, Richard Dawkins, Philip Pullman, Bear Grylls, David Eagleman, Philippa Gregory, Noam Chomsky, and Mario Batali. 

7. For the lover of all things vintage, I suggest Vintage Science Laboratory Microscope Slide Films from Etsy. $5. These fantastic vintage negatives of microscope slide photos come from the Duke University Hospital Medical Labs and feature microscopic diseased cells. Fun!


8. Bio-inspired art and jewelry from Nervous System. Some quick picks are the stainless steel undergrowth earrings ($50), part of the Algae Collection and the 3D-printed subdivision cuff ($60). Nervous System is a design studio that works at the intersection of science, art, and technology. They draw inspiration from natural phenomena, write computer programs based on processes and patterns found in nature and use those programs to create incredible affordable art, jewelry and housewares.

9. Memberships to your local Art Gallery and Science Museum. If I lived in San Francisco, it would be a membership at The Exploratorium where for more than 40 years, along with scientists, they've offered staff and visiting artists a like-minded environment in which to give and get inspiration.

10. Also from Maria Popova's (Brainpickings.org) Best Science Books of 2012 list, is The Where, the Why, and the How: 75 Artists Illustrate Wondrous Mysteries of Science. $24.95. Questions such as why do we blush, can evolution outpace climate change are illustrated by some of the best emerging and established artists such as Lisa Congdon, Jen Corace, Neil Farber, Susie Ghahremani, Jeremyville and others.