TIME magazine will announces its 2013 Person of the Year on Dec. 11 and three MIT alumni are on this year’s list of 44 nominees.
According to the magazine, the Person of the Year is a person, group, idea, or object that, positively or negatively, has done the most to influence the events of 2013. TIME‘s editors ultimately determine the recipient but an online reader’s choice poll, which was announced on Dec. 6, selected Egyptian Army Chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who received more than 26 percent of the nearly 2 million online votes.
Are the nominated alumni deserving of the title? And are there other alumni you believe are worthy of consideration?
The brothers Koch are co-owners of Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States, whose products include asphalt, chemicals, commodities trading, fertilizers, finance, natural gas, plastics, and petroleum. The Kochs garnered only .2 percent of the online voting.
In addition to Koch Industries, the brothers are well-known for their philanthropy and their financial commitments to funding political causes.
Israel’s incumbent prime minister, Netanyahu oversaw the formation of the thirty-third government of Israel, a coalition of political parties within the Knesset, Israel’s national legislature.
According to TIME, Netanyahu—who also garnered .2 percent in the online poll—was an outspoken critic of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and other countries’ rapprochement with the Iranian regime.
In 2012, four MIT-connected candidates were nominated for Person of the Year: Netanyahu, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi PhD ’77, the Mars Rover, whose journey to Mars was orchestrated by more than 20 MIT alumni, and the Higgs boson. (President Barack Obama ultimately took top honors.)
A 2013 MIT selection as Person of the Year would join a list of at least five previous alumni, including:
- Ben Bernanke PhD ’79 (2009), Federal Reserve Chairman who oversaw the Reserve’s response to the global financial crisis. [Read Bernanke’s 2006 MIT Commencement address.]
- Dr. David Ho (1996), 1978 graduate of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, CEO and director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center. [Read Ho’s 1998 MIT Commencement address.]
- American Scientists (1960), which included Charles Stark Draper ’26, SM ’28, ScD ’38, William Shockley PhD ’36, Robert Woodward ’36, PhD ’37, and former professor and provost Charles Hard Townes.