Britain, the country that started the Industrial Revolution becoming the first mechanised, industrialised and urbanised country on the planet, the country that spawned the world's biggest ever empire, the country that gave the world the computer, the lightbulb, the television, the train, the World Wibe Web, the cardiac pacemaker, the lawnmower, innoculation, the discoverers of gravity, evolution and dinosaurs, the father of geology, the photographic negative, the jet engine, the internal combustion engine, penicillin, the radar, the tank and the aircraft carrier, has more living geniuses per head of population than any other country in the world. The country that gave the world Newton and Darwin still produces great geniuses.

More than 60% of the people in the list are British and American. But Britain is way ahead of even second-placed America - it has one genius per 2.5 million people, more than any other nation. Next is the US, with one genius per 6.9 million people.....

British brains dominate list of living geniuses

By Aislinn Simpson
The Telegraph

Britain has more living geniuses per head of population than anywhere else in the world, according to a new survey which reveals the country's influence on science, technology, business and the arts.

British scientists Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web in 1989

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 (external - login to view), in joint first place, and physicist Stephen Hawking at seven in the list.

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.

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

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.

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.

British scientist Richard Dawkins is at number 20 in the list

Nigel Clarke, a managing partner of Synectics UK & Europe, said: "Many people argue that a genius can be defined by their contribution, where it turns conventional thinking on its head.

"I think that Albert Hoffman and Tim Berners-Lee have this in common with the great geniuses of the past.

''Both of them have, in their own way, turned the world that we live in upside down. And it may be that alone that accounts for their acclamation as the world's greatest living geniuses."

Top 100 living geniuses

Last Updated: 1:06am GMT 29/10/2007

1= Albert Hoffman (Swiss) Chemist
1= Tim Berners-Lee (British) Computer Scientist
3 George Soros (American) Investor & Philanthropist
4 Matt Groening (American) Satirist & Animator
5= Nelson Mandela (South African) Politician & Diplomat
5= Frederick Sanger (British) Chemist
7= Dario Fo (Italian) Writer & Dramatist
7= Steven Hawking (British) Physicist
9= Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian) Architect
9= Philip Glass (American) Composer
9= Grigory Perelman (Russian) Mathematician
12= Andrew Wiles (British) Mathematician
12= Li Hongzhi (Chinese) Spiritual Leader
12= Ali Javan (Iranian) Engineer
15= Brian Eno (British) Composer
15= Damian Hirst (British) Artist
15= Daniel Tammet (British) Savant & Linguist
18 Nicholson Baker (American Writer
19 Daniel Barenboim (N/A) Musician
20= Robert Crumb (American) Artist
20= Richard Dawkins (British) Biologist and philosopher
20= Larry Page & Sergey Brin (American) Publishers
20= Rupert Murdoch (American) Publisher
20= Geoffrey Hill (British) Poet
25 Garry Kasparov (Russian) Chess Player
26= The Dalai Lama (Tibetan) Spiritual Leader
26= Steven Spielberg (American) Film maker
26= Hiroshi Ishiguro (Japanese) Roboticist
26= Robert Edwards (British) Pioneer of IVF treatment
26= Seamus Heaney (Irish) Poet
31 Harold Pinter (British) Writer & Dramatist
32= Flossie Wong-Staal (Chinese) Bio-technologist
32= Bobby Fischer (American) Chess Player
32= Prince (American) Musician
32= Henrik Gorecki (Polish) Composer
32= Avram Noam Chomski (American) Philosopher & linguist
32= Sebastian Thrun (German) Probabilistic roboticist
32= Nima Arkani Hamed (Canadian) Physicist
32= Margaret Turnbull (American) Astrobiologist
40= Elaine Pagels (American) Historian
40= Enrique Ostrea (Philippino) Pediatrics & neonatology
40= Gary Becker (American) Economist
43= Mohammed Ali (American) Boxer
43= Osama Bin Laden (Saudi) Islamicist
43= Bill Gates (American) Businessman
43= Philip Roth (American) Writer
43= James West (American) Invented the foil electrical microphone
43= Tuan Vo-Dinh (Vietnamese) Bio-Medical Scientist
49= Brian Wilson (American) Musician
49= Stevie Wonder (American) Singer songwriter
49= Vint Cerf (American) Computer scientist
49= Henry Kissinger (American) Diplomat and politician
49= Richard Branson (British) Publicist
49= Pardis Sabeti (Iranian) Biological anthropologist
49= Jon de Mol (Dutch) Television producer
49= Meryl Streep (American) Actress
49= Margaret Attwood (Canadian) Writer
58= Placido Domingo (Spanish) Singer
58= John Lasseter (American) Digital Animator
58= Shunpei Yamazaki (Japanese) Computer scientist & physicist
58= Jane Goodall (British) Ethologist & Anthropologist
58= Kirti Narayan Chaudhuri (Indian) Historian
58= John Goto (British) Photographer
58= Paul McCartney (British) Musician
58= Stephen King (American) Writer
58= Leonard Cohen (American) Poet & musician
67= Aretha Franklin (American) Musician
67= David Bowie (British) Musician
67= Emily Oster (American) Economist
67= Steve Wozniak (American) Engineer and co-founder of Apple Computers 7
67= Martin Cooper (American) Inventor of the cell phone
72= George Lucas (American) Film maker
72= Niles Rogers (American) Musician
72= Hans Zimmer (German) Composer
72= John Williams (American) Composer
72= Annette Baier (New Zealander) Philosopher
72= Dorothy Rowe (British) Psychologist
72= Ivan Marchuk (Ukrainian) Artist & sculptor
72= Mark Dean (American) Inventor & computer scientist
72= Rick Rubin (American) Musician & producer
72= Stan Lee (American) Publisher
83= David Warren (Australian) Engineer
83= Jon Fosse (Norwegian) Writer & dramatist
83= Gjertrud Schnackenberg (American) Poet
83= Graham Linehan (Irish) Writer & dramatist
83= JK Rowling (British) Writer
83= Ken Russell (British) Film maker
83= Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (Russian) Small arms designer
83= Erich Jarvis (American) Neurobiologist
91=. Chad Varah (British) Founder of Samaritans
91= Nicolas Hayek (Swiss) Businessman and founder of Swatch
91= Alastair Hannay (British) Philosopher
94= Patricia Bath (American) Ophthalmologist
94= Thomas A. Jackson (American) Aerospace engineer
94= Dolly Parton (American) Singer
94= Morissey (British) Singer
94= Michael Eavis (British) Organiser of Glastonbury
94= Ranulph Fiennes (British) Adventurer
100=. Quentin Tarantino (American) Filmmaker

Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 1st, 2007 at 12:36 PM..