Greatest Modern Polymaths


The Top Ten

1 Jacob Bronowski

Polish-born, British Jewish Mathematician, Biologist, Historian of Science, Theatre Author, Poet, and Inventor. - MikeFuller

Jacob Bronowski (18 January 1908 �" 22 August 1974) was a British mathematician, historian of science, theatre author, poet and inventor. Of Polish-Jewish origin, he is best remembered as the presenter and writer of the 1973 BBC television documentary series, The Ascent of Man, and the accompanying book

2 Jonathan Miller

British Theatre and Opera Director, Actor, Author, Television Presenter, Humorist, Sculptor, and Medical Doctor. - MikeFuller

3 Buckminster Fuller

American Inventor, Engineer, Architect, Mathematician, Philosopher, and Professor of Poetry. There is more written about Richard Buckminster Fuller ( Sadly no relation ) in the American 'Who's Who' book than anyone else! - MikeFuller

4 Anthony Burgess

British Novelist, Critic, Composer, Poet, Playwright, Librettist, Screenwriter, Essayist, Travel Writer, Broadcaster, Translator, Linguist, and Educationalist. - MikeFuller

5 Steve Allen

American Comedian, Writer, Poet, Lyricist, Composer, Actor, Concert Artist, and Lecturer. He wrote 54 Books! And about 10,000 Songs! - MikeFuller

6 John von Neumann John von Neumann John von Neumann was a Hungarian-American pure and applied mathematician, physicist, inventor, computer scientist, and polymath.

Most of those listed here have merely extended the range of their activities into closely related fields. That's not polymathy, in my opinion. I was trained as an experimental chemist, have a peer-reviewed publication in theoretical chemistry, and have worked as a university teacher in unrelated fields such as statistics and operations research (currently), an academic editor (for the last 20 years), a semi-professional rock-group drummer (long ago), a company director (currently), a paid murallist and collagist, and many other distantly or un-related activities, yet I would never claim to be a polymath (of course, I'm not famous in any of these fields either).

Hungarian-born, American Jewish Physicist, Mathematician, Contributions to Game Theory, Economics, and Pioneering Computer Scientist. One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Time! He had a Photographic Memory! - MikeFuller

7 Bruce Dickinson Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.

British Heavy Metal Singer, Record Producer, Airline Pilot, Television Presenter, Author, Businessman, Competitive Fencer, and Devoted Family Man. - MikeFuller

Radio presenter can also be added to the list...

8 Paul Robeson

African-American Bass Baritone Concert Singer, Actor of Film and Stage, All American and Professional Athlete, Writer, Multi-Lingual Orator, Scholar, and Lawyer, who was also Noted for his Wide Ranging Social Justice Activism. - MikeFuller

9 Rowan Williams
10 F Story Musgrave

The Newcomers

? Brian May Brian May Brian Harold May is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Queen.

Guitarist, multi instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, astro-physicist with a PhD, mathematician, animal rights activist

The Contenders

11 Edward Said

Another Polymath who I admire is Professor Carl Sagan ( 1934 - 1996 ). American Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Cosmologist, Author, Science Popularizer, and Science Communicator in Astronomy and Natural Sciences. In watching his masterpiece television series Cosmos I am taken back by his all encomposing knowledge!

Palestinian-American Author, Literary Theorist, Cultural critic, Public Intellectual, and Advocate for Palestinian Rights, and Founding Figure in Postcolonialism via his Book 'Orientalism'. - MikeFuller

12 Bertrand Russell
13 Ludwig Wittgenstein
14 Stephen Fry Stephen Fry Stephen John Fry is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter and activist. After a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from two schools and spent three months in prison for credit card fraud, Fry secured a place at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he studied English more.
15 Steve Jobs Steve Jobs
16 Dolph Lundgren Dolph Lundgren Hans "Dolph" Lundgren is a Swedish actor, director, screenwriter, producer, martial artist, and chemical engineer.
17 Stephen Hough
18 Roger Penrose
19 William Sidis
20 CP Snow
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List StatsUpdated 19 Sep 2017

35 listings
3 years, 252 days old

Top Remixes

1. Jacob Bronowski
2. Jonathan Miller
3. Buckminster Fuller



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