What holiday gift will you buy for your science pal? (Hopefully, you have one!) Ideally, you will buy him/her a book. If so, this whole website works as a gift guide, offering up ideas for science gift books that are new (and therefore he/she probably does not have yet). This gift guide, however and with the exception of children’s books, is here to offer you something supplementary to your book buying.
You Can’t Polish a Nerd
This DVD recording of Festival of the Spoken Nerd’s third live stage show collides comedy and song with science and math to produce:
- dangerous things to do with microwaves
- songs about elements and bananas
- mind-distorting Escher tricks you can do with recursion
Helen Arney, Steve Mould, and Matt Parker show off the experiments and projects they’ve been working on since their last shows, Just for Graphs and Full Frontal Nerdity, also still available. In addition to DVD, the show is available in digital from Amazon and Google Play. Bonus points if you get your friend the edition that comes on floppy disk.
You Can’t Polish a Nerd is available here in various formats
Best book to pair with You Can’t Polish a Nerd
The Element in the Room: Science-y Stuff Staring You in the Face by Helen Arney and Steve Mould, Introduction by Matt Parker
Science Flash Cards
I’m an avid follower of @meganleestudio on Instagram. I love her scientist designs, which you can get as stickers, magnets, postcards, or flash cards. This pack includes 50 scientists with steampunk art on the front and fun facts on the back.
Shop Etsy $48
Subscription to CuriosityStream
Created by the founder of Discovery Channel, CuriosityStream is the award-winning streaming site where viewers can watch documentaries on science, travel, history, and more with 2,000+ documentary features and series. The site makes it easy to give the gift of curiosity with their gift card subscription page.
Happiness Through Science
Happiness Through Science is a DVD recording of Robin Ince’s live standup comedy show about science. He has done several other standup shows about science since then (some of which are also available on DVD), but this one is my favorite. It’s an excellent primer to enthusiasm for science, if not for science itself. The DVD is region zero, so it should play on DVD players of any territory.
Shop Go Faster Stripe
Best book to pair with Happiness Through Science
I’m a Joke and So Are You: A Comedian’s Take on What Makes Us Human by Robin Ince is a new book out this year in the U.K. I’m sure you can get your hands on a copy in the States via the internet.
How to Be a Scientist
Festival of the Spoken Nerd “TV scientist” Steve Mould teaches kids how to think like a scientist and look at the world in a brand new way. More than 40 simple activities have undetermined answers, encouraging curious young readers to find new ways to test ideas. Questions, games, and real-life scenarios make scientific concepts fun and relevant. The stories of the great scientists and their discoveries—and failures—are told in an entertaining way to provide even further inspiration for budding scientists.
Shop Local $19.99
The Race for Space
The alternative rock band Public Service Broadcasting released The Race For Space album in 2015. The music album relives the story of the American and Soviet space race, so if you’ve got a buddy who’s into space travel, this is the perfect gift!
Tickets to see Professor Brian Cox Live
Didn’t you hear? Professor Brian Cox is spending April and May 2019 in the United States and Canada, touring his new lecture Universal Adventures in Space and Time. Stops include New York, DC, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Toronto, Chicago, Milwaukee, and many more!
Best book to pair with Universal Adventures in Space and Time tickets
Based around their hit radio show The Infinite Monkey Cage, in How to Build a Universe Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince muse on multifaceted subjects involved in building a universe, with pearls of wisdom from leading scientists and comedians peppered throughout.
I admit it, I’m a #staioneryaddict. When stationery meets science, that’s when my wallet starts to go empty. Here are some stationery items I am most excited to check out.
This handsome foil-stamped box holds fifty postcards, each with a single sublime image: pages from Galileo’s sketchbooks, Chinese star maps, artist interpretations of the universe, and rarely seen images from the NASA archives. This sparkly box is perfect for your favorite stargazer or celestial-inspired friend.
Shop Local $18.95
A collection of 50 postcards in a box from the Science Museum, showcasing fascinating images from the museum’s wide-ranging image library, including vintage posters, original drawings, photographs and prints
Shop Local $22.99
Sci-fi fans and at-home astronomers will enjoy a new bit of astronomical trivia every day in 365 Facts from Space! 2019 Daily Calendar.
Shop B&N $14.99
Pop Chart Lab Posters
Who wouldn’t want a 24″ x 36″ poster charting dinosaur classification? Or the history of space travel, or the chart of cosmic exploration, or a beautiful Periodic Table of Elements? Pop Chart Lab makes art/charts on many different topics and they are the perfect thing to decorate your friends’ space with.
A piece of the moon
And finally, if you’ve got thousands of dollars to spend and you really, really like your science pal, why not stop by Sotheby’s on November 29th for their Space Exploration auction? They’ll have paintings, photographs, and blueprints to go ga-ga over, as well as space suits and the only known documented pieces of the moon in private hands (estimated at about a million dollars). Personally, I’ve got my eye on the Soviet zero-gravity chess set.