One person who is another remarkably smart individual is Steven Pinker. He is a professor at Harvard university and MIT where he researches the cognitive aspects of language. In particular, he studies how people, and indeed any animal, uses language and how they acquire it. He is also a best selling author who has published books from The Blank Slate to The Stuff of Thought (among many others). He is a charismatic and elegant speaker with much to say about his field and, as far as I see it, he is an exceptional and bright individual.
I will be seeing him this fall where he will lecture on his book. As a taste of things to come, here is a link with a speech he gave at TED a few years ago. Enjoy.