A remarkable man. I'm glad they made his biopic while he was still alive. A life worth celebrating. RIP, Mr. Hawking.
Although I will say A Brief History was anything but an easy read. I've read quite a few 'dummed down physics' books and this wasn't one of them. That said, it still had a significant impact on the public in general. That's saying something.
A member of our congregation is a former NRC physicist, somewhere within spitting distance of 90. He studied gamma rays, and fissionable material, spending a portion of his career at Chalk River, and another portion on a mountain-top in Colorado. While recounting his career trajectory to me once, he said that when he decided to go into physics, people thought he was foolish. As he put it, chemistry was much more in the public eye at the time, "better living through chemistry" and all that. "What are you going to do with physics?" they would ask. However, after WWII, and the power of theoretical physics was demonstrated, the field became more fashionable. Moreover, as he recounted, there were concerns about the availability of fissionable material, and the cold war fostered worry about whether the West would have as much available to them as the Soviets. So he was always able to persuade sources to fund his research.
In any event, not to digress too much, but I hope one of Prof. Hawkings lasting legacies is that more young people see physics as hip, and worth going into.
Amazing genius. Makes one believe in a higher power with a plan when such a visionary lived 55 years with ALS.Selfishly, I was hoping he was going to make a guest appearance at Amy and Sheldon's wedding on the BBT.
I support medically-assisted dying, but when one sees the lives and contributions that folks like Hawking and Jason Becker are/were able to make - albeit with a lot of support - one feels compelled to say to some folks "It's your choice, but please don't go just yet. It's hard, but there can be more, and you can be more."
I'm sure Hawking's contributions to science will bear fruit down the line. But for now, his most important contribution is as witness to the value of compassion. It was the compassion of others that allowed him to be what he was and give what he gave.
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