The Somerset Institute for Advanced Logic announced today that Edward Witten narrowly beat out runners-up Gerardus 't Hooft, Richard Branson, Mike Lazaridis, Elon Musk, Woit'n'Smolin, Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg, the Verlinde twins, the Ghost of Évariste Galois, Phil Warnell, Gore Vidal, and the irrepressible Leonard Susskind to win the coveted, and inaugural, Most Wonderful Person on Earth Award for 2010.
I see no reason to list Witten's accomplishments, as it would make for redundant reading. For details, read Peter Woit's book: Not Even Wrong.
Rather, I would like to acknowledge as to WHY he won, because there are so many reasons to pick from.
The reason, simply, is his diplomatic skills in achieving parity in the ongoing Superstrings Civil War.
For those unaware, Superstrings Theory has split into two camps: One headed by Leonard Susskind of Stanford and allied by Joe Polchinski who support Anthropic, the other by David Gross of The Kavli Institute and just about everyone else at Ed Witten's The Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, who reject Anthropic.
Witten, true to his genius form, counsels open-minded fairness regarding "Ships were made to house barnacles" Theory, and refuses to be pegged to either side of the on-going argument.
For meritorious conduct in diplomacy and logical thinking, we are pleased to announce that Edward Witten is the unanimous choice and therefore the winner of The 2010 Most Wonderful Person on Earth Award.
So let it be witten, so let it be done.