Juan Pimentel is Associate Professor of History of Science, Institute of History (CSIC), Madrid.
One of the strengths of [Pimentel's] book is the attention it gives to the relationship between imagination and images--pictures of things seen and then made available to those who have not seen.--Steven Shapin London Review of Books (03/08/2018) Sophisticated and provocative, this is an outstanding study of the possible ways of interpreting unknown beings through an examination of their multifaceted and presumed pasts, shedding light on the changing understanding of scientific forms over 300 years.--Stephane Van Damme, European University Institute For the student of history, this will be a valuable contribution.--J. E. Grinnell Choice (07/01/2017) Pimentel is an agile and amiable companion through his rich materials...Each half of Juan Pimentel's fantastic binomial rewards reading in its own right.--Lorraine Daston Times Literary Supplement (04/28/2017) In a series of brilliantly illuminating juxtapositions, between Renaissance and Revolution, between the worlds of the East and West Indies, and, above all, between the enterprises of analysis and description, Pimentel's astute book shows how the work of imagination and of ingenious imagery has long played a decisive if neglected role in making natural knowledge.--Simon Schaffer, University of Cambridge Pimentel's inspired pairing limns how image and imagination shape our understanding of nature.--Barbara Kiser Nature (12/22/2016) [A] fascinating book...Pimentel rather brilliantly describes his book as a 'historical essay with a tentative and slightly provocative character' (for which praise must be shared with Peter Mason, for his excellent translation). And if that isn't a wonderfully tempting hook for the reader, then what is? The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium is part detective story reconstructing the scientific process, and part historical study of how people reacted to the hitherto unknown and unusual. The parallels drawn by Pimentel are beautifully constructed and drip from the page like honey: a section describing the sea voyages of the fossils mirroring the political and intellectual shifts of the periods is especially effective...He has adeptly and eloquently brought back to life not only these two much-marvelled-at beasts but the minds of the people who sought to explain them and the worlds in which they lived.-- (02/09/2017) A dazzlingly strange and resolutely readable dual biography...The Rhinoceros and the Megatherium becomes as much an interrogation of history and science as it is a chronicle of these two animals' stories.--Colin Dickey Los Angeles Review of Books (04/02/2017)