Among a list of public intellectuals who were selected by committee because they had “influence over the past 12 months” and “significance to the year’s biggest questions,” the British publication Prospect opened the poll to online voters (so take all of this with a grain of salt) and Richard Dawkins came out on top:
When 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.
Incidentally, no women broke the top 10, but that likely says more about the nature of Internet voters than the nominees themselves.
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