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Academic runner-up: Jonathan Zittrain
Professor of Law at Harvard Law SchoolCo-Founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society

When Zittrain co-founded Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society in 1997, the web was considered a fad. Since then the web has proved resilient, and Zittrain, 40, has solidified his role as one of the Internet's most spot-on thinkers. Last year he launched Herdict (from 'verdict of the herd'), allowing online users around the world to report website issues to establish patterns and ascertain what sites might be being censored or monitored. "It's also testing the idea that we can use crowd sourcing in a useful way," he says. His book The Future of the Internet And How to Stop It came out in 2008. (Naturally he crowd-sourced the cover design.) --B.K.

NEXT: Smartest Hybrid: James Cameron
Last updated July 09 2010: 1:19 PM ET
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