Scientists and Tattoos
|Prof Datta's Love Tattoo|
Science journalist, Carl Zimmer, posted a blog at Discover Magazine and asked scientists if a tattoo like this was a trend. Without trying, he became the curator of tattoos and a scholar of science ink. He found out that many scientist sport tattoos of carbon atoms, DNA, ancient fish, embryos...just about anything that interests them and is meaningful. He has published a book called Science Ink.
Body ink has been around for thousands of years. Two hikers climbing the Austrian Alps discovered the freeze-dried body of a 5,300-year-old hunter whose skin was preserved in the ice. He had tattoos made from fireplace ash rubbed into incisions on his skin. Ancient Greeks used tattoos as a method of secret identification and communication between spies. In ancient Asia, tattoos were used to signify rankings in life and tattooing has been among the Polynesian culture for over a thousand years.
Most people who get tattoos find designs that are meaningful or mark a certain passage in life. I often hear of mothers and daughters getting tattoos together and I find that really charming. I guess it is no surprise that scientists would use tattoos to signify their work and what is important to them also.