Scientist Stephen Hawking will look back on his life at an event held at the University of Cambridge to celebrate his 70th birthday this weekend in the UK.
Given only two years to live when he was diagnosed with a form of Motor Neurone Disease in 1963, he has defied medical expectations to become one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists since Nobel laureate Albert Einstein.
The public symposium on Sunday is organised by the University of Cambridge”s Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, and is entitled ”The State of the Universe”, a university release said.
Speakers will include the Astronomer Royal Lord (Martin) Rees, Professor Saul Perlmutter (University of California, Berkeley, 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics), and one of the world”s leading theoretical physicists, Professor Kip Thorne (California Institute of Technology).
Currently Director of Research at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge, where he also founded the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, Hawking previously (1979�2009) held the Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics at Cambridge, a post once held by Isaac Newton.
The author of A Brief History of Time, which was an international bestseller, his other books for the general reader include A Briefer History of Time, the essay collection Black Holes and Baby Universes, and The Universe in a Nutshell.
Professor Hawking has more than a dozen honorary degrees and was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1982.
He is a fellow of the Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Science.
Justin Rattner, Chief Technology Officer, Intel Corporation, who will introduce Hawking”s speech on Sunday, praised him for pushing the boundaries of humankind�s understanding of the cosmos.
“With more than half a century of remarkable research Professor Hawking has continually pushed the boundaries of humankind’s understanding of the cosmos,” Rattner said.
Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal, said it was a chance to “thank him for the many insights he”s given us about the universe, and for all he”s done to present scientific ideas to a wide public – and above all for the inspiration he”s offered to millions by achieving so much, against all the odds.”
Professor Kip Thorne, the acclaimed American theoretical physicist and long-standing collaborator with Stephen Hawking, said when Stephen lost the use of his hands and could no longer manipulate equations on paper, “he compensated by training himself to manipulate complex shapes and topologies in his mind at great speed.”
Professor Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, said he was proud that the world’s best-known scientist is a Cambridge colleague.
“It would always be appropriate for Cambridge to celebrate such a person, and in Stephen’s case there is even more reason to mark a long life that has transformed our perception of the Universe,” he said.