This paper re-examines intellectual leadership in Higher Education by asking the following questions: What is intellectual leadership? Does intellectual leadership imply a position of formal authority and power? What patterns can be observed in the career paths of intellectual leaders? Does cumulative advantage in science automatically pave the way for intellectual leadership? What hinders women and minority scholars from taking on intellectual leadership in their epistemic communities? Drawing on discussions in the literature of the previous decade, the inquiry aims to re-energise dialogue that is essential for resistance to anti-intellectualism and proletarianisation in academe. Copyright © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.