brain on a stick
n. An intelligent person who lacks emotion or social skills.
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If the bar has been lifted slightly in the past 10 years it is partly to do with the difficulties and demands of modern business. According to Jackson clients are now more demanding. The problems they face are more complex. "They won't accept a brain on a stick — people who know nothing about an industry but say 'let me fix it'. Clients simply say 'go away'."

Raw analytical skills do, however, need to be balanced with an ability to interact well with clients. And to avoid the "brain on a stick" syndrome completely, they must be topped up with industry knowledge.
—Paul Smith, “Fast track careers,” New Zealand Management, September 01, 2001
One of his proposals, for a geography-based show called "Cyrus X. Centric," sounds like "Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?" but Roth begs to differ: "The kids who come on that show are kind of brains on a stick. They're not personality-driven," he said.
—Ellen Gray, “He has Johnny Quest's voice and some very serious plans,” Knight-Ridder Newspapaers, August 26, 1996
1991 (earliest)
Jeremy Brett is a magnificent Sherlock Holmes. Not only does he grasp each ''Hah!'' as an entirely new vocal challenge, but he has banished forever the notion of Holmes as a brain on a stick.
—Lynne Truss, “Unless I'm mistaken, it's Preston,” The Times of London, February 23, 1991
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