I am currently at the Regenstein Library at the University of Chicago. It comes to mind the large amount of influential scientist and intelectuals who have studied, done research, or taught at this school. Along with Columbia and Cambridge, the University of Chicago has been the affiliation of the largest amount of Nobel Prize winners [a list of Nobel Prize winners by university affiliation is here].
A complete list of Nobel Prize winners affiliated to the UC is here:
Psychology or Medicine: 11
One of the icons in the economics department is Gary Becker. This article talks about the influence and innovation of Becker's work on economic sociology and human capital:
Becker is one of the most cited economists today, yet his early career was fraught with controversy. Early on, economists felt his analysis of social problems wasn’t really economics. “For a long time, my type of work was either ignored or strongly disliked by most of the leading economists,” Becker writes in his autobiography. “I was considered way out and perhaps not really an economist.”
Steven Levitt, a fellow professor in the economics department and the co-author of the bestseller Freakonomics, can attest to the level of anger and misunderstanding Becker’s early work produced. As an undergraduate at Harvard and a doctoral student at MIT in the early 1990s, Levitt says “nobody really said anything good about Gary Becker.”