Who are the smartest people?

When asked the above question, and given a list of 50 names, Americans responded with these rankings:

1 Albert Einstein
2 Bill Gates
3 Marie Curie
4 Stephen Hawking
5 Condoleezza Rice
6 Bill Clinton
7 Sandra Day O’Connor
8 Oprah Winfrey
9 Warren Buffett
10 Jane Goodall

I will object to Johnny Carson, Dr. Phil, and Ralph Lauren in the Top 50, but applaud Hayao Miyazaki, Susan Polgar, and Jackie Chan.  Here is the full list.  The only academics in the Top 50 are Einstein, Hawking, and Curie, not one person from the social sciences is represented, unless you count Condi Rice. 

Addendum: Thanks to MacNeil, who directs me to further information about the survey.  The wording of this post has been amended to reflect what appears to be an agenda-setting role for Marilyn vos Savant; she appears to have provided the initial list.


Comments for this post are closed