The Future-ish PISA List

2017 PISA List addition, Shirley Ann Jackson. Image credit: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

PISA is a short but meaningful acronym associated with one of our most important and respected endeavors here at Future-ish, The Future-ish Public Intellectual Service & Advocacy (PISA) List. Some people say that public intellectuals have all but disappeared from our modern society. We strongly disagree. The Future-ish PISA List is a growing collection of people from around the world that we feel embody what it means to be a public intellectual.

Public intellectuals are individuals with extensive training and expertise in a particular discipline that speak or write publicly about their discipline to an audience outside their own field or industry. More importantly, they endeavor to relate their work to the larger social, economic, and political world around it. Albert Einstein, for example, was often asked to comment on art, politics, and religion in addition to his own work in physics. Public intellectuals are rigorous thinkers that offer their own ideas and opinions while still respecting the ideas and opinions of others. On rare occasions, public intellectuals are elected and/or are appointed to public office; Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is such an example.

In establishing the Future-ish PISA List, we hope to inform and inspire many generations of scientists, designers, and cultural leaders to follow in Einstein's and Merkel's footsteps and become more involved in public service and advocacy, from participating in civic panels and writing editorials to serving as subject matter experts in the media and running for public office.

We update the PISA List each December. If you have suggestions for additions to the list, please send them to us at StudioF/at/future-ish/dot/com.

Individuals with an asterisk (*) have been elected or appointed to public office. Years in parentheses indicate year added to the list.

2017 additions to the PISA List
Jared Diamond
Harold Frazier
Neil Gershenfeld
Shirley Ann Jackson
Maya Lin
Patricia Williams

Full list as of December 2016
Qanta Ahmed (2012)
Maya Angelou (2007)
S. Haunani Apoliona (2012)
Rachel Armstrong (2015)
Janine Benyus (2010)
Sass Brown (2016)
Majora Carter (2014)
Noam Chomsky (2007)
Yvon Chouinard (2011)
Stephen Chu* (2011)
Jared Diamond (2017)
Esther Duflo (2015)
Michael Eric Dyson (2015)
James H. Fowler (2013)
Harold Frazier (2017)
Tulsi Gabbard (2016)
Neil Gershenfeld (2017)
Jane Goodall (2007)
Janet Gray (2011)
Timothy Gunn (2016)
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (2012)
Stephen Hawking (2016)
Segenet Kelemu (2014)
Katherine Hamnett (2008)
James Hansen* (2011)
Tyrone Hayes (2008)
Bruce Jackson (2012)
Shirley Ann Jackson (2017)
Áile Jávo (2014)
Michio Kaku (2008)
Zafra M. Lerman (2016)
Maya Lin (2017)
Jane Lubchenko* (2010)
Oren Lyons* (2010)
Angela Merkel* (2008)
Akira Miyawaki (2014)
Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky) (2011)
Feryal Özel (2013)
Pope Francis (2012)
Lisa Randall (2009)
Yvette Roubideaux* (2013)
Bobby Sanabria (2009)
Martha Schwartz (2012)
Noel Sharkey (2014)
Vandana Shiva (2009)
Amanda Simpson (2015)
Brian Sims (2016)
Cameron Sinclair (2010)
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf* (2011)
Adam Stelzner (2012)
David Suzuki (2010)
Richard Swett* (2009)
Jason deCaires Taylor (2014)
David Tartakover (2012)
Tony Turner (2015)
Neil deGrasse Tyson (2007)
Ai Weiwei (2015)
Vivienne Westwood (2013)
Patricia Williams (2017)

Public Intellectuals in History
Elouise Cobbell* (2011)
Zaha Hadid (2011)
Wangari Maathai* (2010)