It can be a big challenge to match the right gift to the person, and some people are a lot trickier to buy for than others, if they have particular interests you don't share or can't understand. If there is someone in your life who is keen on science, here are a few ideas to get you started.
You can give a loved one a gift that commemorates a special moment in their life, such as their first kiss, or the time of their birth, - a custom map of the night sky at the time of the event. Great for astronomy fans, or anyone with a romantic streak.
Your map will be an 18" x 24" print on high-quality art matte paper. At $70, it is not the cheapest of gifts, but might be nice for a special occasion like a wedding, anniversary or significant birthday. Shipping is free worldwide.
2.Custom Lab Coat
A tie-dyed (or similar process) lab coat being worn by geneticist Emy Monroe at a public demonstration. Image from Flickr, Creative Commons Atribution 2.0.
Nothing says "science" like a lab coat. If your science lover doesn't yet have one, they are available in a variety of colours and sizes, even child size for your mini scientist. Prices vary, but you can get the child version for $29.95. At an extra cost, you can even have the recipient's name embroidered on the pocket. 3. Owl Pellet
An owl pellet is a mass of undigested parts of an owl's food. Yep, it's bird vomit. I know it sounds gross, but to a certain type of person, it's also truly fascinating. If you are one of those people, or you know someone who is, then I have good news! You can buy these things on Amazon or eBay.
A pellet can tell you what the owl has been eating, and may contain things like pieces of insect exoskeleton, plant matter and tiny bones from rodents and lizards. The pellets available for sale online vary in price, and often contain tools for dissecting the pellet and information to help you identify the contents.
4. Metal Detector
By Aliryzen - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.
Metal detectors can be great fun for looking for treasure, or useful to help find your keys when your toddler tosses them into the bushes. They vary in price, depending on the brand and how sensitive you want them to be, starting at around the $50 mark.
5. Support Scientific Research in their name
A male cheetah, such as those who might be helped bA male cheetah, such as those who may be helped by an underfunded research project. Photo by Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE - Cheetah Male (Acinonyx jubatus), CC BY-SA 2.0.
If your science lover has enough physical stuff already you could donate money to science in their name. This could be a matter of donating to a local museum or science-based charity, or you could help under-funded research get off the ground through one of several science specific crowdfunding sites. Crowd Science has projects about non invasive approaches to treating diseases in wild cheetahs, and addressing the problem of plastic microfibers polluting our oceans and Experiment.com has researchers looking into the prevention of cataracts in humans and the factors that affect the hatching success rate of Loggerhead turtles. There's bound to be something to suit whatever your science lover is into.