'Simpsons' creator tops Hawking on list

For devout fans of “The Simpsons” and “Futurama” this will come as no big surprise: Matt Groening is a bigger living genius than Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking and the Dalai Lama.

That’s according to a poll of 4,000 Brits conducted by global consultants Creators Synectics, which asked respondents to come up with their top 100 living geniuses by email.

The 1,100 noms were whittled down to 100 contenders, and the final rankings was determined by scores for paradigm shifting, popular acclaim, intellectual power, achievement and cultural importance.

Sharing the No. 1 spot on the list are Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman and Brit computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee followed by George Soros in third and Groening fourth. Mandela, Hawking and the Dalai Lama come in fifth, seventh and 26th, respectively.

The list is packed with entertainment figures:

At No. 26, Steven Spielberg rates as the top helmer, ahead of George Lucas (No. 72), Ken Russell (83) and Quentin Tarantino (100).

Media tycoons also weigh in heavily, with Rupert Murdoch (No. 20), Bill Gates (43), Richard Branson (49) and John de Mol (49) in the top 50.

Top pop star is Prince (32).

Meryl Streep (49) is the only actor on the list, six places below the most controversial living genius on the list: Osama Bin Laden.

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