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Al Gore was 2013's 'top global thought leader': study


Credit: Saul Loeb/Getty Images Credit: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The man who most influenced the world with his mind in 2013 was none other than former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore.

That's according to a study by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, a Swiss think tank. The study ranked an additional 99 thought leaders who made their marks on 2013, including New York Times columnists Thomas Friedman (No. 45); liberal economist Paul Krugman (No. 74) and billionaire investor George Soros (No. 89).

Real Clear Science distilled the methodology behind the conclusion:

For 2013's rankings, the researchers used Coolhunting software from the company Galaxyadvisors, which tallies the frequency and relevance of citations to assess leaders' influence. The software scoured the blogosphere, comprising writing and videos from sources like TED and YouTube, and Wikipedia entries. Influence indicators were calculated and subsequently averaged into an influence rank, with any ties broken by the number of Google Scholar hits.

"With all due respect to the former US vice-president, Oscar winner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate," the study's authors wrote of Gore's placement, "this is arguably due not so much to the originality of his thought, but instead to his ability to popularize ideas and build bridges between science, politics and society."

Full list of "thought leaders" here.

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