Four in ten living geniuses hail from the UK

November 14th, 2007 - 3:01 am ICT by admin  
According to a survey reported by The Telegraph, Britain has more living geniuses per head of population than anywhere else in the world.

Almost a quarter of those featured in the list of 100 living geniuses are Britons, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web, in joint first place, and physicist Stephen Hawking at seven in the list, the survey claims.

British artists and musicians feature heavily, including Brit Art leader Damien Hirst at number 15, poet Seamus Heaney at 26, playwright Harold Pinter at 31, Sir Paul McCartney at 58, David Bowie at 67, Harry Potter author JK Rowling at 83 and filmmaker Ken Russell at 100.

Sir Richard Branson, the head of Virgin Group, at 49, chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall, at 58, and psychologist Dorothy Rowe, at 72, also made the list.

With 24 Britons in the list, the country has generated one living genius per 2.5 million people - a higher proportion than any other country.

Sir Tim and Albert Hofmann, the Swiss scientist who created the drug LSD, jointly top the list, compiled by a panel of six experts in creativity and innovation.

They are followed by George Soros, the American financier and philanthropist, Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Nelson Mandela, the former South African president.

There are also some surprise entrants. Osama Bin Laden ranks at number 43, a spot he shares with Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and Mohammed Ali, the former world heavyweight-boxing champion.

The Americans have 43 geniuses on the list - one per 6.9 million people.

Creators Synectics, a global consultants firm, chose their geniuses by awarding scores out of 10 to each entrant against a number of factors: paradigm shifting; popular acclaim; intellectual power; achievement and cultural importance.

The firm emailed 4,000 Britons this summer and asked them to nominate up to 10 living people who they considered geniuses. They received back 1,100 nominations for individuals in all walks of life, more than 60 per cent of whom were either American or English. Only 60 per cent were still alive.

The panel was then charged with ranking the list in order of genius and to present a resulting shortlist of 100, who were then scored against the five factors. (ANI)

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