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Tattoos of the Science Obsessed by Carl Zimmer

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12:59pm, December 2, 2011

Strip away the lab coat, and you’d be surprised what you might find on a scientist’s backside. You might uncover not only a butterfly on a lepidopterist, but an extinct lobe-finned fish or the name of a lover spelled in DNA letters.

Zimmer, a science writer and the author of 10 books, pulls together some of the most fascinating tattoos worn by scientists and science fans. Several years ago, Zimmer noticed a scientist friend’s DNA tattoo at a pool party and wondered what else scientists were hiding. He posed that question on his blog, and soon he couldn’t keep up with the flood of responses. “Without intending it,” Zimmer writes, “I became a curator of tattoos, a scholar of science ink.”

In the book’s tattoo collection, an astronomer carries a whole galaxy on his foot, and Schrödinger’s cat is frozen, forever

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