http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=7078

Global public intellectuals poll — analysis

When I reviewed news of the results of the ‘Top 100 Global Intellectuals” poll at the weekend I, tongue-in-cheek, entitled it “Prof Idol”. Reading David Herman’s analysis of the poll I now realise that it came closer to those TV viewer-vote shows than I’d thought!

    “…at least three of our top 20 (Chomsky, Hitchens and Soroush), or their acolytes, decided to draw attention to their presence on the list by using their personal websites to link to Prospect’s voting page.”

It also appears to reflect the voting public’s usual approach of ‘stick with the old, familiar names’ and ‘give votes to people given the greatest media exposure’. (You only have to look at any of the “BBC Greatest British ____________ ” polls to see that in action!). Germaine Greer a great global intellectual??? Well, I suppose she did spend time in the Celebrity Big Brother house…

Always worth bearing in mind, too, that the names on a poll reflect whoever is conducting it. If it had been the women’s pages of the Guardian, for example, I would have expected to see rather more women represented…

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