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Crypto mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all?

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A recent BBC TV series entitled Icons asked the question, “Who was the greatest person of the 20th century?”

That’s a huge and controversial question in any country, in any language, in any category – and, as you can imagine, the answer’s even bigger, and no doubt even more controversial.

There were seven categories: Artists & Writers, Sports Stars, Activists, Entertainers, Scientists, Explorers and Leaders.

The nominees had to be both important and influential – people whom you’d recognise not only for being top in their field, but also for the significance of what they did.

For example (these are off the top of our head): George Orwell, Jesse Owens, Mohandas Gandhi, Dame Vera Lynn, Rosalind Franklin, Sir Edmund Hillary and Nelson Mandela.

In fact, only one of the people listed above made the final seven…

…and didn’t win.

Popular votes of this sort should always be taken with a pinch of salt – especially when they’re presented by the BBC and the majority of people voting...(continued)

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