Noam Chomsky (1928 – )

Noam Chomsky is best known for his work in the fields of linguistics and cognitive science. As a leading political and social activist, he is one of the most vocal critics of American imperialism and was at the forefront of critics of the Vietnam war. His anti-war essay, The Responsibility of Intellectuals, argued that “intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments” and to analyse their “often hidden intentions.”

This riposte against America’s policies in Vietnam and the role of intellectuals in justifying them still resounds today. In Chomsky’s own words, The Responsibility of Intellectuals reminds us that “privilege yields opportunity and opportunity confers responsibilities.”