Does celebrity make intellectuals stupid?

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Jan. 3 2002 7:09 PM

Does Celebrity Make Intellectuals Stupid?

A look through Richard Posner's data.

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Of these, only Gould, Chomsky, and Posner are true media celebrities. Overall, Posner found that 18 of the top 100 media domes also ranked among the top 100 public intellectuals most-cited in scholarly journals. This disproves the cynical notion that a public intellectual's media fame invariably destroys his influence in the academy.

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Since there's much more to consider in Posner's data, Chatterbox will follow up soon with a sequel.

Timothy Noah is a former Slate staffer. His  book about income inequality is The Great Divergence.

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