We join many in mourning the passing of Professor Stephen Hawking. He made great contributions to science and inspired people around the world with his knowledge and overcoming great obstacles.
He expressed concerns for our treatment of the planet and each other. In an article he wrote for the Guardian two years ago entitled “This is the most dangerous time for our planet” he wrote,
“For me, the really concerning aspect of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans. “
He also wrote of the ever widening inequality in the world yet still remained optimistic while also sending out a plea.
“We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility. “
In 2016 he launched Unlimited, an organization that “dares you to go beyond. In a turbulent world, yesterday’s solutions to tomorrow’s problems are no longer enough. Instead, UNLIMITED powered by UBS aims to encourage the curious and challenge the conventional.”
His inspiration and success came from his determination, optimism and curiosity. As Adrian Cho wrote in Science.
“At his 75th birthday party in Cambridge last year, Hawking urged people to “look up at the stars and not down at your feet” and to explore the wonders of the world around them. “Be curious,” he said, according to a University of Cambridge statement, “and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”
It is always tragic when a voice for the Earth and a voice for science becomes silent. He will be missed.