Prof Idol

In a poll conducted last month by Prospect in conjunction with an American magazine, Foreign Policy, Noam Chomsky was declared No 1 Global Public Intellectual.

Almost 20,000 people cast their votes; he received nearly 5,000 compared with 2,500 for the runner up, Umberto Eco. The biologist Richard Dawkins came in third place, followed by Vaclav Havel, the playwright and former president of the Czech Republic.

The Times article suggests that few know who Chomsky is, writing “for many perplexed members of the public, the reaction will be, Noam who? And, what’s all the fuss about?”. This I find slightly hard to believe — but then again I suppose I would struggle to name characters in soap operas…

Quite a nice brief summary of who Chomsky is and why he’s considered the ‘top prof’ is given — just in case he’s a stranger to you.