Yesterday was a sad day for scientists and society in general, as we mourn the loss of Stephen Hawking, who passed away peacefully in the early hours of March 14, 2018. 

Diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given only a few years left to live at the age of 21, Hawking defied all odds, living to the age of 76. Throughout his life he proved himself to be one of the greatest minds in modern physics and had a legendary presence both in his academic sector and throughout popular culture.

His book, A Brief History of Time, quickly became a best seller, remained on the Sunday Times bestseller list for more than five years and sold more than ten million copies to date.

Aimed at non-specialist readers with no knowledge of scientific theories, Hawking proved himself to be a leader of science communication, as well as a genius of theoretical physics. He continued his communication work with public lectures, carried out alongside his lifelong research and returned as an alumnus to Oxford University as recently as October 2017.

A few of his noted theoretical works include the discovery of Hawking radiation and his famous theories of black holes, which suggest the laws by which the universe is governed.

Hawking’s life is a stark reminder to the scientific community that communicating complex, revolutionary work is essential. However, despite our own slogan of “we change minds”, he also reminds us that a few minds are just so brilliant and vibrant, they simply don’t need changing.

“Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes a universe exist. Be curious.”

           - Stephen Hawking, 1942 - 2018.
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