Why you should listen
Stephen Hawking is perhaps the world's most famous living physicist. A specialist in cosmology and quantum gravity and a devotee of black holes, his work has probed the origins of the cosmos, the nature of time and the universe's ultimate fate -- earning him accolades including induction into the Order of the British Empire. To the public, he's best known as an author of bestsellers such as The Universe in a Nutshell and A Brief History of Time, which have brought an appreciation of theoretical physics to millions.
Though the motor neuron disorder ALS has confined Hawking to a wheelchair, it hasn't stopped him from lecturing widely, making appearances on television shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Simpsons -- and planning a trip into orbit with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. (He recently experienced weightlessness aboard Zero Gravity Corporation's "Vomit Comet.") A true academic celebrity, he uses his public appearances to raise awareness about potential global disasters -- such as global warming -- and to speak out for the future of humanity: "Getting a portion of the human race permanently off the planet is imperative for our future as a species," he says.
Hawking serves as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, where he continues to contribute to both high-level physics and the popular understanding of our universe.
What others say
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.” — Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking’s TED talk
More news and ideas from Stephen Hawking
A round-up of funny, interesting and strange stories on the Internet this week: Hyperbole and a Half’s Allie Brosh is back after a two-year hiatus, with part 2 of an illustrated account of overcoming depression. Dark and delightful. [Hyperbole and a Half] Even world-famous scientists have tiffs. Obviously this bet between Stephen Hawking and Neil […]Continue reading
Today in Ontario, Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, announced $20 million CDN in federal funding to expand the African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) into five new locations across Africa by 2015, including Ethiopia, Ghana and Senegal. AIMS was founded by TED Prize winner Neil Turok, the director of the Perimeter Institute in […]Continue reading