The Best Gifts of 2014 for Science Geeks

A roundup of unique science gifts, from space dog lockets to mathematical bottle openers

Phone Adaptor
Edmund Scientifics

This holiday season, give a gift that will make any science lover go "squee!" We've selected a few of our favorite items—from wearable satellite images to biological dinner plates—that will make you look like an expert shopper. 

See more Science Nerd Gifts in our Holiday Shop

Solar System Diagram Cutting Board ($45)

Prepare for your holiday feast in geeky style with the Solar System Diagram Cutting Board from Elysium Woodworks. This engraved wooden cutting board features a mini astronomy lesson, including planet names, their distances from the sun and their orbital periods, as well as pictographic representations of moons and a few asteroids and Kuiper belt objects. For a limited time, science-fiction lovers can choose to add a space whale out near Pluto.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard, science editor

"The Art of Science" Trivia Game ($49.99)

(Think Geek)

It's a science smackdown in The Art of Science, a deliberately hard trivia game available from Think Geek. Questions cover five technical fields—math, biology, physics, chemistry and technology—as well as a "miscellaneous" category. With 330 cards featuring queries such as "What is the antiparticle of an electron called?" you will have no shortage of brain-stretchers to test your science-geek mettle. 

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Histology Plates ($60)

(Morbid Anatomy Museum)

Take a moment and marvel at the beauty of human organs. These bone-china plates by Anatomy Boutique feature microscope views of human cells and tissues that have been stained for study as part of a medical field called histology. Multicolored alternatives are available for the esophagus, heart, liver, thyroid gland and testicles.

Suggested by Bess Lovejoy, travel editor

Sea Creature Stacking Cups ($36.50)


Did you know that whales drink seawater? And if whales came over to your house for a tipple, these sea creature stacking cups from Burke Decor are surely what they'd prefer to sip from. Each set of four porcelain cups stacks together to reveal a haunting illustration of creatures from the deep. You can opt for an octopus, a seahorse, a narwhal or a sperm whale.

Suggested by Perrin Doniger, director, product development.

Ceramic Fossil Necklace ($38)

California artist Surly Amy has lots to offer the sartorial scientist. This handmade ceramic necklace on a wool cord showcases fossilized trilobites, the diverse insect-like animals that ruled the seas for almost 300 million years, starting in the early Cambrian period about 540 million years ago.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Klein Bottle Opener ($82)


In 1882, German mathematician Felix Klein first described a bizarre bottle with only one geometric surface—it's inside is also its outside. While you need four dimensions to create a true Klein bottle, this 3D metal version by artist Bathsheba Grossman gets the idea across while also helping you pop the cap on your favorite beverage.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

Paris by Night Scarf ($295)

(Slow Factory)

Want to tell the world that an astronaut helped design your clothes? This Paris by Night silk scarf from Slow Factory is printed with an image snapped by a crewmember on the International Space Station. Even better, it shows the glittering lights of fashion-forward Paris seen on a spring night. Other designs feature NASA satellite images of Earth and Mars and snaps of the cosmos from the Hubble Space Telescope.

Suggested by Perrin Doniger

Dogs of the Soviet Space Program Locket ($85)

(Museum of Jurassic Technology)

Human spaceflight was built on the backs of canines. Before Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space in 1961, the Soviets tested their craft by sending 11 dogs on (often fatal) trips to the stars. The dogs of the Soviet Space Program commemorative glass locket can showcase miniature portraits of five space-traveling pooches, based on oil paintings made for a museum exhibit.

Suggested by Bess Lovejoy

HookUpz Universal SmartPhone Adapter ($55.59)

(Edmund Scientifics)

Doing science just got even smarter, thanks to the HookUpz Universal SmartPhone Adapter. The device turns any smartphone into an optical display for microscopes, binoculars, telescopes and more. Just clamp it on to record bacterial cultures or meteor showers right on your phone and share them with the world. #science!

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

"Proof: The Science of Booze" ($16.45)


Drown any post-holiday woes in Proof: The Science of Booze by science writer Adam Rogers. The book is a "science-steeped tale of humanity’s 10,000-year love affair with alcohol," according to a glowing review in Nature, covering not only the diversity of science behind brewing but also the effects of alcohol on our minds and bodies.

Suggested by Victoria Jaggard

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