Source: New Scientist.com – By Jacob Aron
Carl Linnaeus, inventor of the scientific naming scheme for plants and animals, who has been crowned the most influential person in history. An analysis of links within Wikipedia articles by Young-Ho Eom of the University of Toulouse, France, and colleagues gave Linnaeus the title after they used the Google PageRank algorithm to come up with their list.
Google uses this algorithm to count the number of incoming links to a webpage, because pages that are linked to by a lot of other sites are likely to be important. Eom applied the algorithm to 24 separate language editions of Wikipedia to see if different cultures rated different historical figures as the most important.
Linnaeus topped the chart across all languages because there are so many Wikipedia pages with scientific names in every edition, and they all eventually lead back to him. Looking at just…
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