Alumni

Carl Linnaeus ranked most influential person of all time

2014-06-13

Researchers at the University of Toulouse have used Wikipedia and network theory to rank the world’s most influential people through history. At the top of the list we find none other than Uppsala’s own Carl Linnaeus.

Researcher Young-Ho Eom and his research group have studied links between more than one million biographical articles on Wikipedia, looking at 24 different language editions. The people were ranked using Googles wellknown PageRank algorithm, where a page is considered important if it has incoming links from other important pages.

Carl Linnaeus is highly ranked for many of the 24 language editions studied, and when all the results are weighed together the top 5 are as follows:

  1. Carl Linnaeus
  2. Jesus
  3. Aristotle
  4. Napoleon
  5. Adolf Hitler

The researchers also tried another method which also considers outgoing links, resulting in a different top 5:

  1. Adolf Hitler
  2. Michael Jackson
  3. Madonna
  4. Jesus
  5. Ludwig Van Beethoven

The original article can be found here.