Systema Pokémonum: Assessing Pokémon’s Place in the History of Science

well, it was only a matter of time before I found an excuse to talk about Pokémon for an academic conference

Trinity History Con is an annual conference on intersections of science and pop culture, run out of Trinity College Dublin. It’s been in-person previously, but is all online this year, for… obvious reasons… so the presentations are all on YouTube. And I submitted one! My co-writer and presenter here is Elena Romero Passerin, who’s doing a PhD at St. Andrews (where Jim the Editor did his PhD) on the history of biology in early modern Europe, specifically botanical gardens in the 17th and 18th centuries. We talk in this video about the “collector” mindset of enlightenment naturalists, the involvement of non-professionals in scientific research, the utopian ideals of western science, and Pokémon’s place as a cheerleader for environmentalism and life sciences. We put a lot of work into it, so I hope you enjoy it!

also, if you’ve watched any of Jim’s Final Fantasy streams you will have heard my voice by now, but for most readers this will be the first time you’ve seen my face (albeit in a tiny corner thumbnail), so get ready to be blown away by my sheer on-screen charisma

Anonymous asks:

Lately I’ve been learning about xenophyophores. They’re quite fascinating. Have you ever heard of them?

I have not.  Go go gadget Wikipedia.

Huh.  So they’re… kinda like great big deep-sea sponges, but actually more closely related to amoebas?  And… single-celled?  Wow.  That’s one heck of a cell.  But multiple nuclei, which strikes me as cheating somewhat.  I mean that’s essentially just a whole bunch of cells that really don’t have their $#!t together.  Like Reuniclus.  But yeah, that’s all pretty neat.