Charles Murray, the sometimes-controversial American Enterprise Institute scholar, is up for consideration for the 2012 Time 100, the yearly list the magazine puts together of the 100 most influential people in the world. Murray is the only think tanker nominated.

Time’s case for Murray?

“I’ll be shocked if there’s another book this year as important as Charles Murray’s Coming Apart,” proclaimed New York Times columnist David Brooks. Murray’s 1984 book about welfare, Losing Ground, established him as a public intellectual; his 1991 book about race, The Bell Curve, sparked a megacontroversy. This year, with Coming Apart, about the widening class gap, Murray returns to center stage. Among his proposals for narrowing the class divide: eliminating unpaid internships, the SATs and bachelor’s degrees as job requirements.

Voting runs through April 6 and the full list will be published on April 17.