Top 10 Quotes of Stephen Hawking as He Dies at 76

Top 10 Quotes of Stephen Hawking as He Dies at 76

Professor Stephen Hawking was a renowned British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. His writing and teaching about space have had a profound effect on science in the last 50 years.

One of his most profound discoveries was Hawking radiation which he outlined in 1974 and it essentially suggests that black holes are not completely dark and emit some form of radiation which is yet to be actually proven by observing it. However, many scientists around the world believe it to be correct and think it is the link to unify Albert Einstein’s theory general relativity with quantum theory.

Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of Motor Neurone Disease, shortly after his 21st birthday in 1963. He gradually lost the ability to walk, move and speak over the years but continued to communicate with people with the help of a single cheek muscle attached to a speech-generating device. He died today, 14th March 2018 aged 76 in Cambridge. Incidentally, he was born on 8th January 1942 (exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford.

Here is our selection of his top 10 quotes:

Stephen Hawkings Top 10 Quotes

  1. “At school, I was never more than about halfway up the class. It was a very bright class. My classwork was very untidy, and my handwriting was the despair of my teachers. But my classmates gave me the nickname Einstein, so presumably they saw signs of something better. When I was twelve, one of my friends bet another friend a bag of sweets that I would never come to anything. I don’t know if this bet was ever settled, and if so, which way it was decided.”

    — From the lecture “My Brief History,” 2010.

  2. “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans. We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet.”

    — From Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking, 2010.

  3. “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”

    — Interview in The Guardian, May 2011.

  4. “People who boast about their IQ are losers.”

    — Interview in The New York Times, December 2004.

  5. “If you are disabled, it is probably not your fault, but it is no good blaming the world or expecting it to take pity on you. One has to have a positive attitude and must make the best of the situation that one finds oneself in; if one is physically disabled, one cannot afford to be psychologically disabled as well. In my opinion, one should concentrate on activities in which one’s physical disability will not present a serious handicap. I am afraid that Olympic Games for the disabled do not appeal to me, but it is easy for me to say that because I never liked athletics anyway. On the other hand, science is a very good area for disabled people because it goes on mainly in the mind. Of course, most kinds of experimental work are probably ruled out for most such people, but theoretical work is almost ideal. My disabilities have not been a significant handicap in my field, which is theoretical physics. Indeed, they have helped me in a way by shielding me from lecturing and administrative work that I would otherwise have been involved in. I have managed, however, only because of the large amount of help I have received from my wife, children, colleagues and students. I find that people in general are very ready to help, but you should encourage them to feel that their efforts to aid you are worthwhile by doing as well as you possibly can.”

    — From “Handicapped People and Science,” Science Digest 92, No. 9, September 1984

  6. “Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.”

    — Interview in The New York Times, December 2004.

  7. “The downside of my celebrity is that I cannot go anywhere in the world without being recognised. It is not enough for me to wear dark sunglasses and a wig. The wheelchair gives me away.”

    — Interview on Israeli TV, December, 2006.

  8. “I want my books sold on airport bookstalls.”

    — Interview in The New York Times, December 2004.

  9. “I have lived with the prospect of an early death for the last 49 years. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.”

    — Interview in The Guardian, May 2011.

  10. “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

    — To Diane Sawyer/ABC News, June 2010

 

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