As no one has said anything about the passing of Stephen Hawking I thought I'd start something. Stephen Hawking was 1st a phenomenal Scientist and then a Disability Rights Champion. I never really understood his work with the Universe and Black holes but my Husband is really into that and several times tried to explain it to me but it went in one ear and out the other!! But of course I followed his work on Disability Rights and he did work hard to change what he could. As early as the 1970's he campaigned for Cambridge University to become better accessible for disabled people and also better support for people with disabilities including adapted student housing.
Starting in the 1990s, Hawking accepted the mantle of role model for disabled people, lecturing and participating in fundraising activities. At the turn of the century, he and eleven other luminaries signed the Charter for the Third Millennium on Disability, which called on governments to prevent disability and protect the rights of the disabled. In 1999, Hawking was awarded the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society.
In August 2012, Hawking narrated the "Enlightenment" segment of the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony in London. In 2013, the biographical documentary film Hawking, in which Hawking himself is featured, was released. In September 2013, he expressed support for the legalisation of assisted suicide for the terminally ill, In August 2014, Hawking accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge to promote ALS/MND awareness and raise contributions for research. As he had pneumonia in 2013, he was advised not to have ice poured over him, but his children volunteered to accept the challenge on his behalf.
He showed he had a sense of humour by doing a voice over in 'The Simpsons' and also taking part in a sketch for Comic Relief where he turned into a Transformer!! Although I never understood his work on the Universe and Black Holes as a human being he will be a hero to many and a role model to many disabled children and Adults, I myself will remember him as an incredible mind and a hard working caring human being who showed being disabled doesn't mean your life is over, you can be whoever you want to be!! Thank you Stephen. R.I.P Stephen Hawking.
Well written! Stephen Hawking is one of my heroes.
I think about what it must be like to have lived in his shoes. To only be able to communicate by twitching his cheek. To have to depend on other people to do just about everything. Imagine what that might be like.
Then think about how strong his mind must have been.
He never allowed his limitations to stop him from his work. He accepted the reality of his situation and choose to make the best with what he had.
His passing is a great loss to the scientific and disabled community.