Time magazine has named paleoanthropologist Tim White as one of its 2010 top 100 influential people. Sean B. Carroll provides a short profile of White’s recent work – I think that’s cool, as when Gretchen quizzed me (“Somebody you know is on this list!”), my second guess was Sean Carroll.
My first guess, by the way, was Svante Pääbo.
Interestingly, Time also does a social network (i.e., Facebook, Twitter) index for its top 100. On this score, White is one of a couple dozen who have essentially no online social network following. It’s interesting that the people Time classifies as “thinkers” on the list are quite often in this category. Really different kinds of social influence are raising people to prominence in different parts of society today. The scientists and intellectuals aren’t directing their effort toward young people who dominate the online categories, and I wonder what effect that will have in the future.