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Stephen Hawking Launches Science Communication Medal

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London Stephen Hawking, Renowned British cosmologist launched an award in his own name for science communication on Wednesday.

The award named ‘Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication’ will be bestowed upon those who brought science closer to the public using media such as music cinema, art and writing.

The medal was launched at an event at the Royal Society, which is Britain’s de facto academy of sciences.

“I’m happy to say I’m here today not to accept a medal but to announce one,” Hawking, who has a known sense of humour joked during the medal launch.

“When I wrote ‘A Brief History of Time’ I was told that no one would want to read a hardback book about physics. Fortunately for me, it turned out not to be true,” he added, alluding to his best-selling famous science book.

“People worldwide display an incredible appetite of scientific information… The public want to know, they want to understand,” said the cosmologist.

The first medals, which will be awarded in 2016 summer will be categorized into scientific, artistic and film communities sections.

The Starmus Festival, a gathering which celebrates art and science in Canary Islands, Spain, from June 27 to July 2 next year, will be the venue for the announcement of the winners.

Brian May, guitarist of British rock band Queen, who is one of the supporters of Starmus Festival also attended Wednesday’s press conference.

“When I was a boy I had two separate dreams, two passions. One was to be an astronomer and the other was to be a musician,” said May.

“I returned to astronomy about eight years ago and completed to become a doctor in astrophysics,” May added. (image source: starmus)

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11-year-old Indian-origin Arnav Sharma beats Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking in Mensa IQ test in UK

Wonder boy Arnav Sharma gained a score of 162 -- the maximum possible result you can achieve on the paper

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Arnav Sharma
Arnav Sharma, Wikimedia
  • Arnav Sharma, from Reading town in southern England, passed the infamously difficult Mensa IQ test a few weeks back with zero preparation
  • His mark in the exam, which primarily measures verbal reasoning ability, puts him in the top one per cent of the nation in terms of IQ level
  • The “genius benchmark” is set at 140 and Sharma gained a score of 162 — the maximum possible result you can achieve on the paper

London, July 1, 2017: An 11-year-old Indian-origin boy here has scored 162 in the prestigious Mensa IQ test, two points higher than geniuses Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Arnav Sharma, from Reading town in southern England, passed the infamously difficult test a few weeks back with zero preparation. Mensa IQ test was developed in Britain to form an elite society of intelligent people, the Independent reported.

The “genius benchmark” is set at 140 and Sharma gained a score of 162 — the maximum possible result you can achieve on the paper.

His mark in the exam, which primarily measures verbal reasoning ability, puts him in the top one per cent of the nation in terms of IQ level.

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“The Mensa test is quite hard and not many people pass it, so do not expect to pass,” Sharma told the daily.

Sharma said: “I had no preparation at all for the exam but I was not nervous. My family were surprised but they were also very happy when I told them about the result.”

The boy’s mother, Meesha Dhamija Sharma, said she kept her “fingers crossed” during his exam.

“I was thinking what is going to happen because you never know and he had never seen what a paper looks like,” she said.

Sharma said his hobbies are coding, badminton, piano, swimming and reading. He also has an unusually good geographical knowledge and can name all the capitals of the world.

A spokesperson for Mensa praised the 11-year-old boy, saying: “It is a high mark which only a small percentage of people in the country will achieve.”

Mensa was founded in 1946 in Oxford by Lancelot Lionel Ware, a scientist and lawyer, and Roland Berrill, an Australian barrister, but the organisation later spread around the world.

Its mission is to “identify and foster human intelligence for the benefit of humanity”. (IANS)

 

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Indian Origin Girl Rajgauri Pawar tops Mensa IQ test in front of Britain

Pawar has outshined the greatest scientists on earth to achieve the prestigious feat, which is recorded by only one percent of those who appear for the elite society’s entry paper.

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Rajgauri Pawar outshines Einstein and Hawkings, Source- Twitter

London, May 15, 2017: Indian-origin girl Rajgauri Pawar has aced Stephen Hawking and Einstein in British Mensa IQ Test to get the IQ of 162 which is the highest IQ possible for the under-18 group.

This 12-year-old girl appeared in the British Mensa IQ test a month ago and has scored 2 points higher than the world renowned scientists.

Pawar has been invited to join the coveted Mensa IQ academy as a member.

It is believed that Mensa is the largest and oldest high-IQ society in the world. Anyone who can demonstrate an IQ in the top 2 percent of the population, measured by a recognized or approved IQ testing process can become the member of this society, mentioned TOI report.

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According to Mensa, she is one of only 20,000 people to achieve the score worldwide.

Pawar said, “I was a little nervous before the test but it was fine and I’m really pleased to have done so well.”

Pawar has outshined the greatest scientists on earth to achieve the prestigious feat, which is recorded by only one percent of those who appear for the elite society’s entry paper.

Pawar’s father, Dr. Suraj Kumar Pawar said, “this wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of her teachers and the support which my daughter enjoys every day at school.” Rajagauri’s proud teachers and

Rajagauri’s proud teachers and elated schoolmates at Altrincham Girls’ Grammar School cannot stop celebrating the big feat achieved by their student. “We are very proud of Rajgauri,” said Andrew Barry, her maths teacher. “Everybody is delighted. She is a very well-liked student, and we all expect great things from her!”.

In 2016, another Indian-origin boy, Dhruv Talati attained the coveted score of 162 to ace Stephen and Einstein.  Dhruv Talati, who lives in Ilford, London topped the high-IQ society’s Cattell B paper.

These young buds are being named as the most intelligent people across the globe.

– prepared by Nikita Tayal of NewsGram, Twitter: @NikitaTayal6 

 

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‘Killer robots with AI should be banned’

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Addressing concerns regarding start of a “military arms race”, more than 1,000 robotics experts and artificial intelligence (AI) researchers, spanning physicist Stephen Hawking, technologist Elon Musk, and philosopher Noam Chomsky have signed an open letter calling for the ban of offensive autonomous weapons, better known as “killer robots”.

Apart from hundreds of AI and robotics researchers from top-flight universities and laboratories, the signatories of the letter include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

“AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is – practically if not legally – feasible within years, not decades”, says the letter put together by the Future of Life Institute, a group that works to mitigate “existential risks facing humanity”.

Autonomous weapons “have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms”, the letter further adds.

The weapons include armed drones that can search for and kill certain people based on their programming.

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Warning against the pitfalls of AI, the letter says that despite the institute seeing the “great potential [of AI] to benefit humanity in many ways”, the development of robotic weapons would prove useful to terrorists, brutal dictators, and those wishing to perpetrate ethnic cleansing.

As such the weapons do not yet truly exist, but the technology that would allow them to be used is under works.

By eliminating the risk of human deaths, robotic weapons would lower the threshold for going to war thereby making wars potentially more common, the signatories to the letter believe.

By building robotic weapons, the letter warns that a public backlash could grow and curtail the genuine benefits of AI.

Working to pre-emptively ban robotic weapons, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a group formed in 2012 by a list of NGOs including Human Rights Watch, is trying to get the Convention of Conventional Weapons to set up a group of governmental experts which would look into the issue.

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The Convention of Conventional Weapons in Geneva is a UN-linked group that seeks to prohibit the use of certain conventional weapons such as landmines and laser weapons which were pre-emptively banned in 1995.

Meanwhile, the UK has opposed a ban on killer robots at a UN conference, saying that it “does  not see the need for a prohibition” of autonomous weapons.

South Korea has unveiled similar weapons; armed sentry robots whose cameras and heat sensors allow detection and tracking of humans automatically, although the machines require a human operator to fire the weapons.