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The Obituaries Thread


#1107

His truly great changed how we view the cosmos.

He will be missed.


#1108

Yes a real world changer and an astonishing age for someone with his condition. Other people can say it better than me.


#1109

As well as his achievements in science, Hawking remains to this day the only person to play themselves on Star Trek.


#1110


#1111

#1112

Hawking does feel like one of those people who is going to stand as an important historical figure for generations.

I enjoyed the way he often combined his views on physics with philosophical ideas (and humour). He was a good communicator, good at bringing these impossibly complex concepts to people in a way that they could begin to understand.

I read A Brief History Of Time several times over as a kid, and while I still won’t pretend to fuly understand a lot of what he talks about in it, I think it was a laudable (and often successful) attempt to bring advanced scientific ideas to a mass audience.


#1113

Pretty sure Shatner did that most of the time.


#1114

I’ve had an ongoing joke with friends on Social Media now since I was in my early 20s that Stephen Hawking(s) was my arch-nemisis. I’ve already be texted by three people today to offer their… I’m going to say support??

Hawking was an inspiration to me because of how he moved past his physical adversity to achieve some pretty amazing things - growing up struggling with physical adversity of my own that there was no cure for and seeing an such an intelligent thinker function at that high a level despite being physically unable to do anything made me feel that at least I could always trust in my brain, even if I can’t trust in my body.

RIP Stephen. Thank you for showing me how much someone can add to the world with just their thoughts.


#1115

Hawking (on sticks) marching against the Vietnam war in 1969.

An interesting snippet. Some people have commented that he was not Sir Stephen or Lord Hawking. He actually declined an offer in the 1990s in protest at a lack of government science funding but despite that he was a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour which is actually pretty much the highest level anyone can get. Restricted to 65 members his death will open a space up.

There’s some very impressive and usually very old people on there, plus George Osborne for no reason I can fathom.


#1116

Yes. It’s incredible that he lived for over 5 decades with ALS.

I have a buddy who is paraplegic and uses a similar motorized chair. He ran over my foot once and it wasn’t pleasant. :wink:


#1117

#1118

#1119

I listened to a podcast documentary a while back that his DNA had been harvested for study to understand why he survived so long, he’s not unique but the usual prognosis from an ALS (or MND in the UK) diagnosis is an average of 2 years before death. He exceeded that by roughly 50 years.


#1120

It’s amazing that he was a product of being born at the right time. Even if he’d been born 10-15 years earlier I imagine his life would have been very different. And that makes you think of the people today who survive situations that wouldn’t have made it just a few years ago. And the impact that might make to our future society.


#1121

#1122

Yes, it’s astounding really. I had a good friend with motor neurone disease and the decline in his health after diagnosis was shocking in terms of how rapid it was. I think he died about 18 months after diagnosis. Hawking was more than just an outlier in that regard.


#1123

It’s actually a little bit of a mystery why he survived Motor Neurone Disease/ALS for so long. Not to be a downer on this kind of thing because medical advances have been amazing across the board but Scottish rugby player Doddie Weir got diagnosed the same last year and explained there has been no significant advance in the expected 2 year lifespan from 50 years ago.

Probably the most striking thing from the perspective of advancement is not medical but technological, that at the end he was able to convey his thoughts into text just by cheek movements. 10-15 years earlier without computers and he’d have had no way to convey his genius and we’d have missed out on it.

(And I’d add that I would have no clue about this if I hadn’t heard Doddie’s emotional appeals and frustrations in the last few weeks that there are no medical solutions to his condition and he has started a foundation to try and help further research.)


#1124

A Brief History of Time is quite the achievement. That he managed to make some pretty complex science so readable is a feat in and of itself. It’s crazy what Hawking was able to accomplish, especially when you consider he was suffering from a disease that should have killed him decades ago.


#1125

#1126