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Stephen Hawking Launches Science Communication Medal


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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Auction Of Stephen Hawking’s Belongings Will Take Place At Christie’s

Hawking's items will be on display for several days in London, beginning October 30.

Stephen Hawking
A Book, and scripts by Stephen Hawking are among the personal and academic possessions of Stephen Hawking at the auction house Christies in London. VOA

Several possessions of the late physicist’s Stephen Hawking will be included in an upcoming auction at Christie’s, the famed auction house.

Included among the items belonging to the iconic scientist will be one of his wheelchairs, one of five copies of his Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis “Properties of Expanding Universes,” and a script from one of his appearances on the television show “The Simpsons.”

At age 22, Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, just as he was beginning his doctoral work at Cambridge.

Stephen Hawking, pixabay
Stephen Hawking, pixabay

Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie’s, said Hawking was so despondent over the diagnosis that he “gave up his studies for a time.”

Hawking, however, returned to school, Venning said, and his thesis “was the fruit of his reapplying himself to his scientific work.” Hawking kept his thesis beside him for the rest of his life, according to Venning.

Hawking was one of the few scientists who have reached celebrity status. He is probably best known for his best-selling book “A Brief History of Time” and for his appearances on “The Simpsons.”

His daughter Lucy said the auction gives “admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father’s extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items.”

Stephen Hawking
(FILE)-Scientist Stephen Hawking giving his views on the danger of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The physicist’s children hope to preserve his scientific archive.

The Associated Press reports that Christie’s is handling negotiations to hand over the archive to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.

His items will be featured in a science sale that also includes papers by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein.

Also Read: Three British Scientists Win Nobel Physics Prize For Work On Exotic States of Matter

Hawking’s items will be on display for several days in London, beginning October 30.

Hawking died in March at age 76. (VOA)