Centre for Theoretical Cosmology News

Stephen Hawking given Pride of Britain Award

CTC founder Stephen Hawking has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Pride of Britain Awards. These are nominated by the public and are given to honour the achievements of British people who make the world a better place.

The award was presented by Prime Minister Theresa May in a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor Hotel. In choosing to acknowledge Stephen’s achievements, the panel of judges said: “Pride of Britain is about recognising people who inspire us all and Professor Stephen Hawking has done that right across the board.” The world’s most famous scientist has been battling motor neurone disease for more than fifty years, but has inspired millions of people by refusing to allow his condition dictate the terms by which he lives his life.

Accepting the award from Mrs May, Stephen quipped: “I deal with tough, complex, mathematical questions every day but please don’t ask me to help with Brexit.”

He went on to talk about his vision of the world of the future, including robots and driverless cars, but also mentioned challenges such as climate change. He added: “My greatest ambition is to undertake a flight into space and I still hope to do that some day.”

The award ceremony was hosted by Carol Vorderman and broadcast on ITV. The next day, Stephen joined the other winners for a reception at 10 Downing Street.

In response to the award, Professor Nigel Peake, the Head of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, made the following statement:

“The Department is delighted that  Professor Stephen Hawking has received the Pride of Britain Award for his lifetime achievements, not only as one of the world’s most distinguished and famous scientists, but also for his inspirational battle against severe illness for more than 50 years. The tremendous relevance of Professor Hawking’s work has been highlighted again this year by the LIGO discovery of gravitational waves from merging black holes, confirming a number of his theoretical predictions.”

Stephen Hawking with his son Tim along with Theresa May and Carol Vorderman at the Pride of Britain Awards. (Image credit: ITV)