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”Richard Dawkins named world’s top thinker in poll”

The Guardian förklarar utnämningen, som gjorts efter en omröstning hos brittiska Prospect, så här:

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 [de menar fysikern Peter Higgs]) in a poll based on 65 names chosen by a largely US- and UK-based expert panel. [Fler än 10 000 röster från 100 länder]

Det är in imponerande lista Prospect har tagit fram. Här är topp 5:

1. Richard DawkinsWhen Richard Dawkins, the Oxford evolutionary biologist, coined the term “meme” in The Selfish Gene 37 years ago, he can’t have anticipated its current popularity as a word to describe internet fads. But this is only one of the ways in which he thrives as an intellectual in the internet age. He is also prolific on Twitter, with more than half a million followers—and his success in this poll attests to his popularity online. He uses this platform to attack his old foe, religion, and to promote science and rationalism. Uncompromising as his message may be, he’s not averse to poking fun at himself: in March he made a guest appearance on The Simpsons, lending his voice to a demon version of himself.
2. Ashraf GhaniFew academics get the chance to put their ideas into practice. But after decades of research into building states at Columbia, Berkeley and Johns Hopkins, followed by a stint at the World Bank, Ashraf Ghani returned to his native Afghanistan to do just that. He served as the country’s finance minister and advised the UN on the transfer of power to the Afghans. He is now in charge of the Afghan Transition Coordination Commission and the Institute for State Effectiveness, applying his experience in Afghanistan elsewhere. He is already looking beyond the current crisis in Syria, raising important questions about what kind of state it will eventually become.
3. Steven PinkerLong admired for his work on language and cognition, the latest book by the Harvard professor Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature, was a panoramic sweep through history. Marshalling a huge range of evidence, Pinker argued that humanity has become less violent over time. As with Pinker’s previous books, it sparked fierce debate. Whether writing about evolutionary psychology, linguistics or history, what unites Pinker’s work is a fascination with human nature and an enthusiasm for sharing new discoveries in accessible, elegant prose.
4. Ali AllawiAli Allawi began his career in 1971 at the World Bank before moving into academia and finally politics, as Iraq’s minister of trade, finance and defence after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Since then he has written a pair of acclaimed books, most recently The Crisis of Islamic Civilisation, and he is currently a senior visiting fellow at Princeton. “His scholarly work on post-Saddam Iraq went further than anyone else has yet done in helping us understand the complex reality of that country,” says Clare Lockhart, co-author (with Ashraf Ghani) of Fixing Failed States. “His continuing work on the Iraqi economy—and that of the broader region—is meanwhile helping to illuminate its potential, as well as pathways to a more stable and productive future.”
5. Paul KrugmanAs a fierce critic of the economic policies of the right, Paul Krugman has become something like the global opposition to fiscal austerity. A tireless advocate of Keynesian economics, he has been repeatedly attacked for his insistence that government spending is critical to ending the recession. But as he told Prospect last year, “we’ve just conducted what amounts to a massive experiment on pretty much the entire OECD [the industrialised world]. It’s been as slam-dunk a victory for a more or less Keynesian view as one can possibly imagine.” His New York Times columns are so widely discussed that it is easy to overlook his academic work, which has won him a Nobel prize and made him one of the world’s most cited economists.

Första kvinnan på listan hittar vi på plats 15: författaren Arundhati Roy.

Så vad är detta, ännu en internetomröstning? Njae, mer en omröstning bland brittiska intellektuella som läser Prospect om vem de anser vara den som påverkat debatten mest. Hur intressant man tycker listan är har förmodligen mest att göra med hur intressant man tycker brittiska intellektuella som läser Prospects åsikt är. Att de gillar halvgalna kontroversiella tänkare visas av att filosofen
Slavoj Žižek är nummer sex på listan. De gillar också vetenskap; på 10-i-topp hittar man fyra Nobelpristagare. AC Grayling filosoferar i Prospect om hur betydelsefulla de här intellektuella egentligen är.
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