Top 10 Smartest "Pokémon" Professors
Professors in Pokémon
Each Pokémon region has a premiere professor, famed researchers with various specializations. But no matter their focus, they often distribute starter Pokémon as well as items and advice to help us progress through our journeys.
All are valuable allies, but some professors have accomplished more than others—which most deserve recognition? Including other scientists (researchers and doctors), these are the ten best Pokémon professors!
10. Professor Juniper
Specialty: Pokémon origins
After four generations of male professors, Juniper proved women can be just as intelligent, studying how Pokémon were created. Easy, Arceus, right? Or Mew. MissingNo? Maybe more research is needed after all . . .
Juniper is also friends with Doctor Fennel, whose studies in Pokémon dreams deserve mention, and her father Cedric Juniper is a former professor who researched Pokémon biology.
9. Professor Birch
Specialty: Pokémon habitats
Birch is an active scientist, not only dissecting data but directly collecting it from the field. Although this occasionally gets him in trouble, it gives him hands-on knowledge few professors have. And despite his comparative youth, Birch has written several books, including The Ecosystem of Pokémon 3,000 Years Ago and The Coexistence of People and Pokémon.
8. Professor Rowan
Specialty: Pokémon evolution
Despite his gruff appearance, Rowan is a kind man who has studied several regions; exploring Kanto with Professor Oak before settling in Sinnoh. Rowan made many strives in mankind's knowledge of Pokémon, like discovering that almost all are connected to others via evolution.
Esteemed by many, Rowan's research has interesting implications; he wonders if evolution is how "incomplete" creatures become whole, and what that would say about non-evolving legendary Pokémon.
7. Professor Magnolia
Specialty: Dynamax evolution
The venerable Professor Magnolia specializes in the Galar phenomenons of Dyna and Gigantamax evolutions. Despite her smaller in-game appearance compared to most professors, Magnolia's one of few experts in her area. That said, she eventually passes down her professor role to her granddaughter Sonia after her successful book exploring Galar's mythology.
6. Professor Kukui
Specialty: Pokémon attacks
Kukui shares many similarities with Professor Birch. Both are active researchers known for their fieldwork, and both have wives and children. But Kukui has one of the coolest specializations—Pokémon attacks—which gives him a keen insight into Z-moves.
If that didn't keep him busy enough, Kukui also enjoys battling under the guise of "The Masked Royal", and he's no slouch, serving as Alola's champion and wielding a balanced team of high-level creatures.
5. Professor Burnet
Specialty: Pokémon and alternate dimensions
Professor Kukui's wife changes design between games, but no matter where she appears, she explores the link between Pokémon and other dimensions, particularly the "Interdream Zone", the space between dreams and reality. Adept with both the technological and theoretical forms of research, Burnet rightfully wins the "Alola Woman of the Year award in the anime.
She also studies the wormhole which Ultra Beasts travel through, giving her valuable knowledge regarding the pseudo-legendaries.
4. Professor Elm
Specialty: Pokémon breeding/abilities
Professor Elm's one of the most versatile Pokémon scientists. He's an expert in breeding, abilities (odd, considering they didn't debut until gen 3), and according to Professor Oak, evolution. He's also credited for discovering Pokémon eggs and certain baby Pokémon, like Pikachu's pre-evolution Pichu.
Specialty: Pokémon Technology
While lacking the official professor title, Bill is a famed researcher often called an expert or even Poké-maniac. Despite his youth, Bill has invented incredible machines, most notably the Pokémon storage system that holds excess Pokémon, essential for catching 'em all.
Bill also created the Time Capsule used to transfer creatures between generations 1 and 2, and an odd teleportation machine that accidentally fuses him with a Pokémon (which Red quickly helps him undo).
2. Professor Oak
Specialty: Pokémon-human interaction
Arguably the most renowned scientist in the franchise, Professor Samuel Oak was an elite trainer in his youth, but dedicates his golden years to studying Pokémon, and he creates the Pokédex encyclopedia. Alongside DJ Mary, Oak also hosts his own radio show in Johto, locates Mew for Todd in Pokémon Snap, and even time-travels (with Celebi's power) in the anime.
His grandson Blue (Gary in the anime) briefly serves as his region's champion and later becomes Viridian City's gym leader.
1. Mr. Fuji
Specialty: Pokémon cloning
Known as Dr. Fuji in the anime, Fuji is the scientist primarily responsible for Mewtwo's creation via a cloned Mew. He's able to not only duplicate but improve on a legendary, with Mewtwo easily being the strongest Pokémon in generation 1 (and arguably still number one).
Fuji is the author of the Cinnabar Island's lab notes, and if you (like me) believe the theory that Dittos are failed Mew clones, it means Fuji actually created two new Pokémon species. Heck, it might be three, as Porygon (an artificial Pokémon created via programming) is known to have originated at the Cinnabar Lab, which also deserves credit for its ability to revive fossil Pokémon.
Which character is your favorite?
Other Scientists in Pokémon
Though most regions only have one "main" professor at a time, they're filled with other researchers who deserve mention, like Professors Sycamore and Willow, and Poké Ball expert Kurt.
Only time will tell what new technology (both in the games and real world) spells for the franchise's future, but for now, vote for your favorite scientist and I'll see you at our next Pokémon countdown!
© 2020 Jeremy Gill