Pittsburgh Thinkers of the Year

According to the Post-Gazette, WQED's Pittsburgh Magazine has included three "Thinkers" among its Pittsburghers of the Year. They are:

Finn Kydland, Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon;

Edward Prescott, Professor of Economics at Arizona State and holder of a Ph.D. from CMU; and

Wangari Maathai, Assistant Minister for Environment, Natural Resources and Wildlife in Kenya, and founder of the Green Belt Movement for environmental conservation and community development in Kenya. Professor Maathai received an MS in Biological Sciences from Pitt.

Professors Kydland and Prescott shared the 2004 The Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel. Professor Maathai received the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

It's fair to call Finn Kydland a Pittsburgher. But the others? No disrespect intended to either of them, but there are an awful lot of brilliant people who actually live in Pittsburgh, who didn't happen to be recognized with Nobel awards in 2004. Pittsburgh -- city, region, and magazine -- can and should be proud of the here and now. We don't need to claim reflected glory from those who passed through lived, worked, or studied here at one point in their lives, long ago.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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