MIT Sloan professor named “public intellectual” of the year

Simon JohnsonProfessor Simon Johnson

Simon Johnson tops Prospect magazine’s list

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., December 16, 2009 — After considering hundreds of candidates for its list of the top 25 public intellectuals of the financial crisis in 2009, Prospect magazine named MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Simon Johnson the “clear winner.” The list of the top 25 leading public intellectuals was based on who made the most impact on policy or significantly changed the public conversation regarding the recent financial crisis.

A Prospect article announcing the results explains that Johnson topped the list because his “ideas are well grounded in theory, but he has also done more than any academic to popularize his case: writing articles, a must-read blog, and appearing tirelessly on television.” It also noted Johnson’s position as an economist at the Peterson Institute in Washington, D.C. and former role as IMF chief economist. His essay, “The Quiet Coup,” in the Atlantic’s May 2009 issue was cited as “one of the great polemical essays of the crisis.”

An expert on financial and economic crises, Johnson is the Ronald A. Kurtz Professor of Entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan and a co-founder of, a website on the global economy. He also is a member of the Congressional Budget Office’s Panel of Economic Advisors. Johnson regularly appears on NPR’s Planet Money podcast, is a weekly contributor to the’s Economix, and has a video blog on the New Republic’s website. In addition, he is co-director of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) project on Africa and president of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies.

Link to article: Public intellectuals and the financial crisis.

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