Greatest Modern Polymaths
The Top Ten
Again! If one could live with and listen to only one person, it would be Jacob Bronowski
Polish-born, British Jewish Mathematician, Biologist, Historian of Science, Theatre Author, Poet, and Inventor.
Jacob told us the truth, "science is only a Latin word for knowledge. Knowledge is our destiny."
British Theatre and Opera Director, Actor, Author, Television Presenter, Humorist, Sculptor, and Medical Doctor.
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!
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!
British Novelist, Critic, Composer, Poet, Playwright, Librettist, Screenwriter, Essayist, Travel Writer, Broadcaster, Translator, Linguist, and Educationalist.
American Comedian, Writer, Poet, Lyricist, Composer, Actor, Concert Artist, and Lecturer. He wrote 54 Books! And about 10,000 Songs!
British Heavy Metal Singer, Record Producer, Airline Pilot, Television Presenter, Author, Businessman, Competitive Fencer, and Devoted Family Man.
Radio presenter can also be added to the list...
Musician, pilot, world class fencer, author, film maker, DJ...
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.
Welsh Anglican Bishop, Poet, Theologian, and Polyglot*. The 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. *He speaks 11 Languages!
Greatest modern polymath.
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'.
This guy astonishes me. Won a European martial arts championship, has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering, speaks 7 languages (though not completely fluently for some), won a Fulbright scholarship to MIT, and oh yeah, did a little acting on the side. Wow.
Amazing man. Debating genius
He is in the dictionary next to the words "sweet" and "smart"
Great writer and communicator with the ability to explain complex issues in amazingly clear ways and to inspire people to learn more about science and the Universe. Sagan was key in drilling through bonehead politicians to make them realize the danger of thermonuclear war to the very existence of our species.
Claimed to be the cleverest man who ever lived. A giant amongst pygmies.
Guitarist, multi instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, astro-physicist with a PhD, mathematician, animal rights activist