Richard Dawkins #1 on list of world’s top thinkers

Prospect Magazine has compiled a list of the 65 top thinkers in the world over the past 12 months. Topping the list is Richard Dawkins:

When Prospect magazine listed Britain’s leading public intellectuals in 2004 and invited readers’ votes, it was Richard Dawkins who emerged as No 1. Nine years on, the biologist, author and campaigner has bettered that by topping its “world thinkers” rankings, beating four Nobel prize winners (and another contender regarded as certain to receive one soon) in a poll based on 65 names chosen by a largely US- and UK-based expert panel.

Joining him in the top 10 are the psychologists Steven Pinker (3) and Daniel Kahneman (10), the economists Paul Krugman (5) and Amartya Sen (7) and the philosopher Slavoj Ε½iΕΎek (6), who all, like him, figured in the magazine’s first list of world-class thinkers in 2005.

A late run by the octogenarian British physicist Peter Higgs (8) secured him a place in an elite squad containing three other scientists, while the remaining slots are taken by academics turned politicians from the Middle East: Afghanistan’s Ashraf Ghani (2), an economist who served as finance minister after the US-led invasion; Iraq’s Ali Allawi (4), another ex-minister and author of The Occupation of Iraq and The Crisis of Islamic Civilization; and Egypt’s Mohamed ElBaradei (9), prominent in the Arab Spring and now in opposition to Mohamed Morsi.

To qualify for this year’s world thinkers rankings, it was not enough to have written a seminal book, inspired an intellectual movement or won a Nobel prize several years ago (hence the absence from the 65-strong long list of ageing titans such as Noam Chomsky or Edward O Wilson); the selectors’ remit ruthlessly insisted on “influence over the past 12 months” and “significance to the year’s biggest questions”.

Perhaps the most expected name to be nowhere near a list like this? William Lane Craig. This is the difference between a professional debater and people who make a real impact in the world with honestly considered arguments, opinions, and perspectives.

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4 Responses

  1. Would you be in favor of a federal law that required people to eat healthy and exercise?

  2. Oops, commented on wrong post. See nutrition post

  3. For anyone wishing to follow: https://forthesakeofscience.com/2013/04/27/on-nutrition/

    I support measures that encourage people to be healthy insofar as such measures are designed as cost-savers. So, for instance, many companies give discounts to non-smokers or, as I prefer it to be put, they charge smokers a premium. I think the federal government should implement that sort of thing wherever possible, but I don’t see a great justification in requiring healthy eating.

  4. Athests laud only yourself. Dawkins is a weak thinker and average scientist.

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