The internet isn't exactly overflowing with biochemistry-themed gifts and they are hard to find if you aren't a biochemist yourself. This list helps get rid of the kitsch like printed chemistry mugs and periodic table joke t-shirts to narrow it down to items they will truly love and keep for a long time.
This list ties together our favorite gifts for scientists from around the internet. Some are our own Genius Lab Gear inventions and some we’re just jealous we didn’t think of first! Some links in this page contain affiliate links, which means that any purchase of the items after clicking the link will result in a small monetary referral fee paid back to Genius Lab Gear at no cost to you. We appreciate your support which allows us to continue inventing and testing the best tools for chemists on the planet!
1. The Pocket Chemist - Molecule Stencil and Chemistry Pocket Reference
If you've already spent hours looking for gifts for biochemists or biochemistry students, you can stop here.
"This would have made my life 10x easier!" - said one chemist during our first Instagram giveaway. The only solvent-proof and wallet-sized organic chemistry stencil available, this little tool will help your favorite biochemist draw beautiful chemical reactions and save them time referencing important physical constants.
Not sure? It was even featured in the 2019 Holiday Gift Guide from the authority Chemical & Engineering News magazine!
To see how it's used, check the 45-second video below:
Get it with free shipping from our website or on Amazon using the links below!
2. Chemistry and Microbiology Word Magnets for the fridge or fume hood
Science-themed gifts are rarely as entertaining and enduring as our science-themed word magnet sets! We recently launched these to encourage creativity and self-expression in labs, classrooms and offices. Each specialty pack comes with 144 tiles carefully designed by a PhD in that field for technical accuracy and tacit absurdity.
The Chemistry Word Magnet set was designed with help from professional chemists and chemistry teachers, who chose words to make it both science-y and humorous. Combine it with the Microbiology Word Magnet set for a customized creative experience for biochemists. These are just plain fun!
3. Covalence: A Molecule Building Chemistry Card Game
Did you know that chemistry card games exist? Of course they do! This nerdy game lets you build organic chemistry molecules using elements on the periodic table. But it's not as easy as it sounds. There's cooperative strategies that will engage and enrage adult players but it's easy enough for high school students to pick up and learn basic chemistry!
4. Rocketbook Matrix cloud-connected reusable paper notebook
This is my favorite clever invention. It was inevitable.Rocketbookfinally solved the problem of merging your hand-written notes into your favorite digital services. You simply use their app to take a photo of your pages of notes and the QR code and marked symbols on each page trigger the app to send the digitized page to any of the 9 pre-set digital destinations you choose. This includes OneNote, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox and even specific emails. Want a shortcut to send notes via email straight to your colleague or boss? This is what you’re looking for.
TheRocketbook Matrixis my personal favorite because it's designed for more technical work. It's got 30 pages of graphing paper and one regular lined page for taking notes, plus a built-in ruler on the inside cover. Did I mention they are resuable? Use their "Pilot Frixion" pens and then wipe the page with a damp cloth after uploading your notes to use it all over again (and win one for the environment!).
Are they a pipette ninja? Someone who deftly transfers precise volumes of liquids to and from a chemical reaction? Designate them an official Pipette Ninja with our Pipette Ninja sticker!
Marie Curie was a Nobel prize-winning chemist (and physicist) who shattered the glass ceiling and stayed true to her passions for scientific discovery. This Marie Curie silhouette sticker coveys a cute but meaningful message - "Stay Curie-ous" in honor of her life and mission.
Both of these are perfect gifts under $5 for adding to a biochemistry student's laptop, thermos or notebook!
6. Louis Pasteur Wine Quote Canvas
Biochemists are some of the biggest sommeliers I know. Maybe because wine is made by fermentation, one of the first biochemistry reactions ever mastered by humans. This little 5x7 inch canvas by renowned biochemist Louis Pasteur is usually hung near a desk or is thick enough to stand upright on its own.
7. DIY Gin-making kit of Craft Beer kit
If wine isn't their first choice, biochemists also have a reputation for being fascinated by gins and homebrewing. Nearly every one I've known either wanted to open their own brewery or distillery, and some universities even often elective classes on alcohol production. It's a fun way to use their extensive training!
If your biochemist enjoys craft beverages, one of these kits is an excellent way to open a door to something they could one day turn into their life's passion. My favorite kits are this gin-making kit and this amber ale brew kit.
Biochemists are surely big chemistry nerds and women in biochemistry love to geek out over chemistry fashion like this periodic table-themed scarf. It's made of 100% polyester and is silky and comfy to wear. Aside from fashion, it’s a practical gift to help keep them warm in cold weather.
Who doesn't enjoy a cup of coffee? Biochemists often work long hours, especially in research laboratories. This Greenline Goods’ beaker mug, which features a diagram of the molecules found in coffee, is the ideal way for a science nerd to start the day. It's the perfect gift for a coffee aficionado, as well as an effective item to remind them of their passion for science at home.
11. Best books for biochemists to read for pleasure (not textbooks!)
Biochemists spend a ton of time reading textbooks and journal articles. It’s important to occasionally break that cycle and dive into a book for pleasure. Below are a few of our favorite science-related books that will be an enjoyable read for a biochemist.
Culinary Reactions: The Everyday Chemistry of Cooking
This book finally made cooking enjoyable for me. It's always been one of those imprecise arts where you just follow the directions and hope to get it about right. As a scientist, understanding what I'm doing is paramount. This cookbook walks you through the chemistry behind your every-day cooking recipes so you can make adjustments and improvements by logic, not guesswork! Any biochemist would love to have this book to apply their advanced knowledge of chemistry to something they do every day.
This is a favorite book of scientists who share a love for the diverse world of booze. It focuses on the sometimes exotic or mundane plants used to create the world's beverages and the biological and chemical processes involved in the transition. Any biochemist with an interest in this subject would love this book and be armed with fun facts and in-depth knowledge of everything they sip on.
If you can't decide by now, I can still help! Consider this decision made. I put together a Biochemistry Gift Bundle just to make it easy for you. It includes the Pocket tool and Word Magnets from above, plus a few fun science stickers. You'll save over 20% by bundling them together, so consider this decision made!
Any biochemistry student is going through a challenging course load. The most appreciated gift would be The Pocket Chemist, which can help them get through homework faster and turn in spectacularly neat chemical reactions! It's basically a pocket tool for chemistry and biochemistry students.
Also in The Digital Lab Notebook - Blog for Scientists and Science Lovers
When you want to say "thank you" to an inspiring chemistry educator, an apple just won't do. This list steers clear of bad chemistry joke t-shirts and finds high-quality but affordable items from $4-$65 that will leave a lasting impression.
If you just try searching "PhD Graduation Gifts" on Amazon, you'll get a page full of mugs, shirts and keychains. They deserve better. I’ve been through grad school, got my PhD, and have a good idea of what they would truly appreciate as a thank-you gift. Here’s my hand-picked list below.