A Universal Symbol for Science

Posted by Eric Bastholm on January 7, 2012
Jan 072012

I recently read an article in Newscientist by Paul Root Wolpe advancing the need for a symbol to represent Science. (Science Needs a Universal Symbol)

SCIENCE is under assault. In the US and throughout the world, rhetoric about evolution, stem cells, global warming and other controversial and cutting-edge technologies often transcends legitimate disagreement to challenge the work of scientists.

Universal science symbol (white background)
Universal science symbol (dark background)

Paul went on to suggest some criteria in the design of the symbol:

  • A single unified symbol
  • Simple and versatile
  • Instantly recognisable
  • Encompass all of science
  • Easy to modify, to identify a subject area (or even a “non-science” group that supports science)

I thought this is a great idea and offer the symbol shown here as a possible candidate.

The symbol is a simple white circle, embossed with an eye, surrounding a black area. The white circle represents what we know. Together with the eye, observation, it surrounds the unknown and represents humanity’s striver for scientific enlightenment, our quest to understand all that is unknown.

The symbol is simple, easily recognisable, represents science as a whole and is easy to augment to represent subareas or organisations by simply placing a smaller icon within the black area.

I like it anyway.

Here are some sample logos I threw together as examples.


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