Who are the most influential thinkers in world?
Identify leaders in your chosen discipline, research top professors in your area of study, and search for schools based on the luminaries who most inspire you!
Note: These rankings change dynamically as our artificial intelligence system learns new things and incorporates new publications and citations. Academics are constantly doing research and publishing new insights, with the result that our measure of influence is subject to continual adjustments. For quality assurance reasons, however, we forgo real-time changes, with most public updates happening only quarterly. In any case, don’t be surprised to see our rankings change over time.Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …
1942 - 2013 (71 years)
Jock Young was a British sociologist and an influential criminologist.Biography Jock Young was educated at the London School of Economics. His PhD was an ethnography of drug use in Notting Hill, West London, out of which he developed the concept of moral panic. The research was published as The Drugtakers. He was a founding member of the National Deviancy Conferences and a group of critical criminologists in which milieu he wrote the groundbreaking, The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance in 1973, with Ian Taylor and Paul Walton and The Manufacture of News .
1835 - 1909 (74 years)
Cesare Lombroso was an Italian criminologist, phrenologist, physician, and founder of the Italian School of Positivist Criminology. Lombroso rejected the established classical school, which held that crime was a characteristic trait of human nature. Instead, using concepts drawn from physiognomy, degeneration theory, psychiatry, and Social Darwinism, Lombroso's theory of anthropological criminology essentially stated that criminality was inherited, and that someone "born criminal" could be identified by physical defects, which confirmed a criminal as savage or atavistic.
1883 - 1950 (67 years)
Edwin Hardin Sutherland was an American sociologist. He is considered as one of the most influential criminologists of the 20th century. He was a sociologist of the symbolic interactionist school of thought and is best known for defining white-collar crime and differential association, a general theory of crime and delinquency. Sutherland earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1913.
1903 - 1957 (54 years)
Eliot Ness was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to bring down Al Capone and enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a famous team of law enforcement agents from Chicago, nicknamed The Untouchables. His co-authorship of a popular autobiography, The Untouchables, which was released shortly after his death, launched several television and motion picture portrayals that established Ness's posthumous fame as an incorruptible crime fighter.
1934 - Present (87 years)
Freda Adler is a criminologist and educator, currently serving as Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University and a visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. She was President of the American Society of Criminology in 1994-1995. She has acted as a consultant to the United Nations on criminal justice matters since 1975, holding various roles within United Nations organizations. A prolific writer, Adler has published in a variety of criminological areas, including female criminality, international issues in crime, piracy, drug abuse, and social control theories.
1935 - 2019 (84 years)
George Lee Kelling was an American criminologist, a professor in the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University–Newark, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, and a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He previously taught at Northeastern University.
1931 - 2012 (81 years)
James Quinn Wilson was an American conservative academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration. Most of his career was spent as a professor at UCLA and Harvard University. He was the chairman of the Council of Academic Advisors of the American Enterprise Institute, member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board , and the President's Council on Bioethics. He was Director of Joint Center for Urban Studies at Harvard-MIT.
1935 - 2017 (82 years)
Travis Warner Hirschi was an American sociologist and an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. He helped to develop the modern version of the social control theory of crime and later the self-control theory of crime.
1951 - Present (70 years)
Gary Kleck is a criminologist and the David J. Bordua Professor Emeritus of Criminology at Florida State University.Early life and education Kleck was born in Lombard, Illinois, to William and Joyce Kleck. He attended Glenbard East High School before enrolling in the University of Illinois, where he received all three of his degrees.
1949 - Present (72 years)
Lawrence W. Sherman was born in 1949 in Schenectady, New York. He graduated from Denison University with a B.A. in political science, before earning his M.A. in social science from the University of Chicago. He went on to earn his diploma in criminology from Cambridge University and his M.A. and Ph.D in sociology from Yale University.
1902 - 1970 (68 years)
Paul Leland Kirk was a biochemist, criminalist and participant in the Manhattan Project who was specialized in microscopy. He also investigated the bedroom in which Sam Sheppard supposedly murdered his wife and provided the key blood spatter evidence that led to his acquittal in a retrial over 12 years after the murder. The highest honor one can receive in the criminalistics section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences carries Kirk's name.
1937 - 2013 (76 years)
Robert Kenneth Ressler was an FBI agent and author. He played a significant role in the psychological profiling of violent offenders in the 1970s and is often credited with coining the term "serial killer", though the term is a direct translation of the German term "Serienmörder" coined in 1930 by Berlin investigator Ernst Gennat. After retiring from the FBI, he authored a number of books on serial murders, and often gave lectures on criminology.
1738 - 1794 (56 years)
Cesare Bonesana di Beccaria, Marquis of Gualdrasco and Villareggio was an Italian criminologist, jurist, philosopher, and politician, who is widely considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Age of Enlightenment. He is well remembered for his treatise On Crimes and Punishments , which condemned torture and the death penalty, and was a founding work in the field of penology and the Classical School of criminology. Beccaria is considered the father of modern criminal law and the father of criminal justice.
1877 - 1966 (89 years)
Dr. Edmond Locard was a French criminologist, the pioneer in forensic science who became known as the "Sherlock Holmes of France". He formulated the basic principle of forensic science: "Every contact leaves a trace". This became known as Locard's exchange principle.
1886 - 1966 (80 years)
Ernest Watson Burgess was a Canadian-American urban sociologist born in Tilbury, Ontario. He was educated at Kingfisher College in Oklahoma and continued graduate studies in sociology at the University of Chicago. In 1916, he returned to the University of Chicago, as a faculty member. Burgess was hired as an urban sociologist at the University of Chicago. Burgess also served as the 24th President of the American Sociological Association .
1796 - 1874 (78 years)
Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet FRSF or FRSE was a Belgian astronomer, mathematician, statistician and sociologist who founded and directed the Brussels Observatory and was influential in introducing statistical methods to the social sciences. His name is sometimes spelled with an accent as Quételet.
1864 - 1944 (80 years)
Robert Ezra Park was an American urban sociologist who is considered to be one of the most influential figures in early U.S. sociology. Park was a pioneer in the field of sociology, changing it from a passive philosophical discipline to an active discipline rooted in the study of human behavior. He made significant contributions to the study of urban communities, race relations and the development of empirically grounded research methods, most notably participant observation. From 1905 to 1914, Park worked with Booker T. Washington at the Tuskegee Institute. After Tuskegee, he taught at the
1847 - 1915 (68 years)
Hans Gustav Adolf Gross or Groß was an Austrian criminal jurist and criminologist, the "Founding Father" of criminal profiling. A criminal jurist, Gross made a mark as the creator of the field of criminality. Throughout his life, Hans Gross made significant contributions to the realm of scientific criminology. As Gross developed in his career as an examining justice, he noticed the failings of the field of law. His book, classes, institutions, and methods helped improve the justice system through his experience as a justice.
1944 - Present (77 years)
Robert David Keppel is an American former law enforcement officer and detective. He is also a former associate professor at the University of New Haven and Sam Houston State University. Keppel is known for his contributions to the investigations of Ted Bundy and Gary Ridgway, and also assisted in the creation of HITS, the Homicide Investigation Tracking System.
1930 - Present (91 years)
Alfred Blumstein was born in 1930 in New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D from Cornell University. Blumstein’s research has explored multiple aspects of criminal justice, such as career criminality, criminal justice policy, juvenile violence, deterrence, and populations within the prison system.
1875 - 1929 (54 years)
Rodolphe Archibald Reiss was a German-Swiss criminology-pioneer, forensic scientist, professor and writer.Early life and studies The Reiss family was in agriculture and winemaking. Archibald was the eighth of ten children, son of Ferdinand Reiss, landowner and Pauline Sabine Anna Gabriele Seutter von Loetzen. After finishing highschool in Germany, he went to Switzerland for his studies. He had received a Ph.D. in chemistry at the age of 22 and was an expert in photography and forensic science. In 1906 he was appointed a professor of forensic science at the University of Lausanne. In 1909, he
1951 - Present (70 years)
James Alan Fox is the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy and former dean at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. Fox holds a bachelor's degree in sociology , a master's degree in criminology , a master's degree in statistics , and a Ph.D. in sociology , all from the University of Pennsylvania.
1900 - 1972 (72 years)
Orlando Winfield Wilson , also known as O. W. Wilson, was an American police officer, later becoming a leader in policing along with authoring several books on policing. Wilson served as Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, chief of police in Fullerton, California and Wichita, Kansas.
1843 - 1924 (81 years)
Alexandre Lacassagne was a French physician and criminologist who was a native of Cahors. He was the founder of the Lacassagne school of criminology, based in Lyon and influential from 1885 to 1914, and the main rival to Lombroso's Italian school.
1949 - Present (72 years)
Lonnie Athens was born in Richmond, Virginia. He earned a B.S. from Virginia Tech, an M.S. from University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a D.Crim from the University of California at Berkeley.
1898 - 1988 (90 years)
Walter Reckless was an American criminologist known for his containment theory .Biography Reckless earned his PhD in sociology from the University of Chicago. While at the Chicago School , he joined with sociologists Robert Park and Ernest Burgess in conducting observation studies of crime in Chicago, Illinois. This research led to his dissertation, The Natural History of Vice Areas in Chicago , which was published as "Vice in Chicago" - a landmark sociological study of fraud, prostitution, and organized crime in the city's "vice" districts.
1942 - 2013 (71 years)
Stanley Cohen was a sociologist and criminologist, Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics, known for breaking academic ground on "emotional management", including the mismanagement of emotions in the form of sentimentality, overreaction, and emotional denial. He had a lifelong concern with human rights violations, first growing up in South Africa, later studying imprisonment in England and finally in Palestine. He founded the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the London School of Economics.
1918 - 2014 (96 years)
Albert K. Cohen was a prominent American criminologist. He is known for his Subcultural Theory of delinquent urban gangs, including his influential book Delinquent Boys: Culture of the Gang. He has served as Vice President of the American Society of Criminology from 1984–1985 and in 1993 he received the society's Edwin H. Sutherland award.
1914 - 2004 (90 years)
Joseph Leo Gormley was the chief of chemistry and toxicology for the FBI.Born in Clinton, Massachusetts, he was raised in Somerville, Massachusetts. Gormley received his bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry from Boston College. With his wife Frances he fathered and raised nine children.
1853 - 1914 (61 years)
Alphonse Bertillon was a French police officer and biometrics researcher who applied the anthropological technique of anthropometry to law enforcement creating an identification system based on physical measurements. Anthropometry was the first scientific system used by police to identify criminals. Before that time, criminals could only be identified by name or photograph. The method was eventually supplanted by fingerprinting.
1959 - Present (62 years)
Christian Schwarzenegger is a Swiss academic lawyer and professor of criminal law, criminal procedure and criminology at the University of Zurich.He is the son of an Austrian musician and later engineer, who immigrated in the 1950s from Styria to Switzerland. The father of Christian Schwarzenegger is a cousin of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the actor and former governor of California. Christian Schwarzenegger grew up in Zürich.
1896 - 1994 (98 years)
Johan Thorsten Sellin was a Swedish American sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania, a penologist and one of the pioneers of scientific criminology. Biography Sellin was born in Örnsköldsvik in Västernorrland County, Sweden and came to Canada with his parents when he was 17 years old. He received his bachelor's degree from Augustana College in Illinois when he was 19. He went on to receive a master's degree and doctoral degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1922 until becoming Professor Emeritus in 1967.
1856 - 1929 (73 years)
Enrico Ferri was an Italian criminologist, socialist and student of Cesare Lombroso , the founder of the Italian school of criminology. While Lombroso researched the purported physiological factors that motivated criminals, Ferri investigated social and economic aspects. He served as editor of the socialist daily Avanti! and, in 1884, saw his book Criminal Sociology published. Later, his work served as the basis for Argentina’s penal code of 1921. Although at first he rejected the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, Ferri later became one of Mussolini and his National Fascist Party's main exte...
1945 - Present (76 years)
John Edward Douglas is a retired special agent and unit chief in the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation . He was one of the first criminal profilers and has written books on criminal psychology.
1944 - 2001 (57 years)
Ian Taylor was a British sociologist. He was born in Sheffield.Taylor completed his undergraduate degree at Durham University, where he was an active socialist and involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. He continued his studies at Cambridge before returning to Durham for his doctorate.
1959 - Present (62 years)
William Henry Timothy Newburn is an academic, specialising in criminology and policing.Career He was president of the British Society of Criminology from 2005–2008, director of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology from 2003-2008 and is currently head of the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 1997, he was Director of the Public Policy Research Unit at Goldsmiths College and has previously worked at the Policy Studies Institute, the National Institute for Social Work, the Home Office and Leicester University.
1952 - Present (69 years)
Dayle Hinman is a retired, FBI-trained criminal profiler. She starred in a television series on TruTV . The program, Body of Evidence: From the case files of Dayle Hinman, documented some of the cases she worked while a Special Agent at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement , as well as some other cases. "Body of Evidence" , was a documentary-style show with interviews, re-enactments and an off-camera narrator. Each episode included scenes of Hinman discussing the case in question, as well as scenes of her playing herself in re-enactments.
1930 - 2018 (88 years)
David Matza was an American sociologist who taught at University of California, Berkeley from 1961.Born in New York, he received his PhD from Princeton University in 1959. His research fields included deviant behavior, social change, poverty and working class life. He is best known for coauthoring, with Gresham Sykes, techniques of neutralization.
1941 - 2016 (75 years)
Don Bernard Kates Jr., was an American lawyer and research fellow with The Independent Institute in Oakland, California who focused on promoting gun rights. His books include Armed: New Perspectives On Gun Control, Restricting Handguns: The Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, Firearms and Violence: Issues of Public Policy, and The Great American Gun Debate: Essays on Firearms and Violence .
1958 - Present (63 years)
Jeffrey Ian Ross is a scholar, professor, and criminologist specializing in the fields of policing, corrections, political crime, violence, abnormal-extreme criminal behavior, and crime and justice in American Indian communities. Since 1998 Ross has been a professor at the University of Baltimore. He is currently the co-chair of the Division of Critical Criminology of the American Society of Criminology. Ross is an author, co-author, editor, and co-editor of numerous books.
1931 - 2020 (89 years)
Herman Goldstein was born in 1931 in New London, Connecticut. He attended the University of Connecticut, majoring in political science and government. He earned a master’s degree in governmental administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
1956 - Present (65 years)
David Wilson is a professor emeritus of criminology at Birmingham City University. He studied at the University of Glasgow and Selwyn College at Cambridge before earning his Ph.D. from the Cambridge Institute of Criminology.
1923 - 2009 (86 years)
Lodewijk Henri Christian Hulsman, known as Louk Hulsman was a Dutch legal scientist and criminologist.Life According to Hulsman, his childhood and adolescence were marked by the time he spent in a religious boarding school that left him traumatized. After graduating from school Hulsman was involved in a resistance movement during World War II. In 1944 he was convicted of using counterfeit identification papers and imprisoned at the Amersfoort concentration camp. While being transferred to Germany he successfully escaped. After returning to the Netherlands he joined the Allied troops as a sold
1943 - 2014 (71 years)
Reuben Morris Greenberg was the first black police chief of Charleston, South Carolina, and known for being an innovative criminologist.He was police chief there from 1982 until his retirement in 2005.
1959 - Present (62 years)
Michael Robert Sutton is an ex-reader in criminology in the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University, where he established the now defunct Centre for Study and Reduction of Bias, Prejudice and Hate Crime and is co-founder and chief editor of the Internet Journal of Criminology. He was joint winner of the 1998 British Journal of Criminology Prize for his research on hackers, and publicised the market reduction approach for tackling theft. Sutton has published journal articles on the subject of inter-racial relationships and violence.
1908 - 1998 (90 years)
Otto Pollak was a writer and a professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.His most controversial and famous book was The Criminality of Women , in which he suggested that women commit just as much crime as men, but that their crime is more easily hidden. Pollak further argued that the criminal justice system was biased by preconceptions about women and did not convict or sentence women as harshly as men. His empirical work has provided a starting point for criminology on women. His work has also been used in political debates, as some antifeminist or masculist groups have appr...
1928 - 2015 (87 years)
Nils Christie was a Norwegian sociologist and criminologist. He was a professor of criminology at the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo.Personal life Christie was born in Oslo on 24 February 1928, a son of Ragnvald Christie and Ruth Hellum. He married Vigdis Margit Moe in 1951, and was later married to .
1945 - Present (76 years)
Leif Gustav Willy Persson is a Swedish criminologist and novelist. Persson has four children, one of whom, Malin Persson Giolito, is also a crime writer.Early life Leif Gustav Willy Persson was born on 12 March 1945 in Stockholm, Sweden to Gustav and Margit Persson. He attended the High School Norra Real.
1951 - Present (70 years)
Michael Ryan Gottfredson is the former President of the University of Oregon, serving from August 1, 2012 to August 6, 2014.Biography He has a B.A from the University of California, Davis, a M.A. and a Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Albany.
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