Arts & Graphs
September 24, 2009 7:20 AM   Subscribe

I now have blank wallspace and shelfspace in my office -- help me fill 'em with some scientific eye candy!

I work as an admin for a local university's biology department; however, I am mostly a layperson (other than absorbing science documentaries). I like being around scientists without having to actually be one myself.

I've recently changed office space, and now there is a lot of actual open wall around me, and a few empty shelves--blank space which begs to be filled with ... with what? In the past, when I've had more cubicle-type spaces, I've tacked posters like these [#wc24 & higher #'s especially] onto the (spongyfoamy) walls -- they are interesting, relevant, a good distraction if needed, fun, and sometimes a conversation starter for those who drop by. I've also liked NGS-style maps. And I've found this little 3-D optical illusion papercraft a fun thing to have sitting on my shelf. (You can download one of those via .pdf here.)

Can you suggest other posters/prints/sculprtue/art of this sciency ilk? Bonus points if it's relevant to evolutionary biology, organismic biology, or neurobiology. Charty or arty, any suggestions are welcome -- thanks!
posted by not_on_display to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Not less than 5 minutes ago I was drooling over these vintage pull down school charts on eBay. The seller says they have more to list as well - you could contact them to get first dibs. The Science and the Taxidermy categories of eBay have many goodies for your walls.....
posted by iconomy at 7:43 AM on September 24, 2009

Best answer: Ernst Haeckeldid some really lovely prints of, among other things, sea creatures which can be found in high resolution here.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:45 AM on September 24, 2009 [4 favorites]

Not biology, but the Visual Diary of Spaceflight (scroll down) Edward Tufte sells is kind of cool. (Because all things Tufte are cool, if you ask me.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:48 AM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might like Kevin Van Aelst's art. I'm pretty sure he sells prints.
posted by reptile at 7:50 AM on September 24, 2009

Also, if you're willing to play with some software, there are a good number of protein viewing software, for instance pymol, which will let you make pretty renderings of various proteins.

Evolutionary biology has great charts of development.

Fruit Flies

Talk to your colleagues and tell them you want to put up pretty pictures of what they're doing. They will be glad to oblige, especially if you trade them cookies for pictures.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:53 AM on September 24, 2009

Best answer: A Klein bottle.

I have the top-mouth erlenmeyer with calibrations. I'm a mathematician-in-training, and I think it's about the dandiest thing in the world. You can see if any of the bio professors in your department can figure out what it is.
posted by Commander Rachek at 7:56 AM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

well, one picture i've seen recently was quite stylish and biology/science related.

it was an image from the magnified view of a compasite material through a super microscope, which looks different in an unsuall way to, say a normal photograph.
posted by sockpim at 8:20 AM on September 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions so far! I just spoke to the person with the purse-strings, who said if I'm considering prints, I should be aiming for the $20-30 mark, and easy-peasy framing stuff like what you can buy at Staples or OfficeMax.
posted by not_on_display at 8:30 AM on September 24, 2009

I've always though that phrenology heads were neat decor items. It's a pseudoscience, but kind of sciencey. I really like spotting these as set decor on television shows (I'm pretty sure Dr. House has one in his office). Check eBay for cheaper prices.
posted by LeiaS at 8:37 AM on September 24, 2009

First: eponysterical.

Next: Ooh! I would like to introduce you to Evolution Nature Store! (Physical shop in Soho, online sales and prop rentals available.) Shelf fillers like fascinating fossils, replicas, shells, rocks, medical models, books, art, and assorted awesome.

Their posters tend more toward antique and arty biology, and have price tags in the $100 range. So lovely!
posted by alight at 8:37 AM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

oops, out of your price range then. Sorry! But maybe a gift card for later?
posted by alight at 8:38 AM on September 24, 2009

Best answer: Ah, one more.

This collection of prints is wonderful.

The plates from Biologia Centrali Americana are available as downloadable pdfs. Since you have a budget, you can go to a copy place and have them printed at high resolution on nice paper. The insect plates are especially nice.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:04 AM on September 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

I recommend the spider plates in the Biolgia Centrali Americana as well. (for example: this page)
posted by dhruva at 10:13 AM on September 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I am printing out quite a few pages from the Biolgia Centrali Americana right now, and taping them to my door. I like that it's free, too!
posted by not_on_display at 11:10 AM on September 24, 2009

Best answer: I've always thought an Ecosphere would be cool, and just the ticket for a biology department. Have to be careful about the amount of sunlight it gets, though.
posted by Bron at 6:36 PM on September 24, 2009

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