in November Writing Challenge, Science

8 Sciencey Things You Can Spend Money On Today

Like it or not, it’s Black Friday, so a lot of people will be spending money on stuff they don’t need. If you really have to scratch that itch, why not throw a few bucks at some of these projects?

1. The Kitchen Science Cookbook

What if learning about science was as easy as following a recipe? With The Kitchen Science Cookbook, it could be! Created by Dr Michelle Dickinson and her Nanogirl team, the book will be a collection of science experiments you can do using stuff you probably have in your kitchen already.

As this is a Kickstarter project, it will only be made if it gets funded. So if you think it’s a good idea, get your pledge in now. The really great thing is that for every copy of the book pre-ordered, the team will donate one book to a school, library or community.

The Nanogirl team also offer “pay it forward tickets” for their live shows which I think is a great idea to help people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford to go.

2. Xtronaut ISS

Led by the principal investigator on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission to the asteroid Bennu, Xtronaut ISS is an opportunity to do experiments at home and compare them to the same experiments as done on the ISS.

There are two experiments, one with sugar crystals and one with microbes. The microbe experiment is already ongoing on the space station and the sugar one will be launching soon.

The project’s aimed at kids but I reckon there’s a decent amount of adults who’ll enjoy the idea of pretending to be an astronaut, even if they won’t admit it…

3. Rocket Science

Rocket Science is a kids’ book about rockets. If you’re not already sold, it’s an accessible and beautiful explanation of the principles of spaceflight, and even includes the latest advances such as rockets being able to land gracefully.

This project is already funded but you can still order copies of the book, and in a nice touch there’s a discounted option where you can donate a copy to a school or library.

4. The Royal Society

The Royal Society is one of the oldest science organisations in the world and do a ton of great work advancing science and education. Their motto is “nullius in verba“, which is basically just fancy Latin for “don’t just take someone’s word for it” – the essence of evidence-based science.

The Society’s work includes a range of grants, awards and lectures, as well as advising various governments on science policy, publishing multiple journals and producing accessible summaries for the public.

If you want to support their work you can donate online.

5. The American Association for the Advancement of Science

With climate change deniers and anti-vaxxers in public office, science advocacy groups like the AAAS are more important than ever.

As well as publishing Science, one of the most prominent scientific journals, the AAAS helps to inform policy and advocate for science in the public sphere.

As a bonus, signing up as an AAAS member gets you access to the online version of Science, or for a little extra you can have the print version delivered. Also, they have a special Black Friday promotion of half-price memberships – well worth it.

6. Sense About Science

Sense About Science are a UK-based charitable organisation working to help advance the public understanding of science.

They help scientists learn how to communicate effectively, and produce straightforward guides for members of the public. They also run campaigns like the Maddox Prize for science communication, Voice of Young Science and Ask for Evidence.

7. Science Moms

Parents are one of the groups often targeted by fear-based, pseudoscientific messages. Science Moms is a short, independent documentary featuring mums who are also scientists and/or science communicators, aiming to help break the grip of fear that many new parents face.

As a Black Friday bonus, you can purchase the film for just $1.99 with the promo code Borlaug.

8. New Scientist

New Scientist is a weekly publication with all the latest science and technology news, written in an accessible and educational way. They also frequently have scientific angles on major news stories. So if you like to keep abreast of what’s happening, New Scientist is for you.

If you subscribe now they have a Black Friday offer which includes a free book when you purchase an annual subscription.

This article was written as part of my November writing challenge, a NaNoWriMo-inspired attempt to write one short, snappy article a day in November. Please excuse brevity, but let me know if I’ve missed anything important!