Stephen Hawking was born January 8, 1942.
Stephen Hawking is a noted scientist. Confined to a wheelchair by Amyotrophic
Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), he communicates by means of an
electronic vocal synthesizer. He is famous for formulating several
theories regarding the nature of black holes, often working with
colleague Kip Thorne, and for his best-selling science books including A Brief History of Time.
Hawking is the only person, to date, to have played himself on Star Trek (excluding historical people who have appeared via stock footage), appearing as his own holographic counterpart in the Star Trek: The Next Generation sixth season episode “Descent” in 1993. Whilst filming the episode, Hawking was taken on a tour of the engineering set; indicating the warp core, he said, “I’m working on that.” (Star Trek Encyclopedia) On a subsequent visit to the set, he passed by actor Brent Spiner
and asked where his money was from winning the hand of poker. Spiner
replied that the check was in the mail. Hawking was interviewed on 8 April 1993 when he filmed his Trek appearance. This interview was part of the TNG Season 6 DVD special feature “Mission Overview Year Six” – “Descent – Part 1 Featuring Stephen Hawking”.
Hawking visited the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine set during the filming of “The House of Quark”. In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, Armin Shimerman describes meeting Dr. Hawking as one of the high points of his life.
Hawking has also played himself on Futurama, The Simpsons, and The Big Bang Theory, and appeared in documentaries about Red Dwarf and Doctor Who. In 2010 he co-authored The Grand Design with former Star Trek: The Next Generation story editor and writer of the episode “The Dauphin”, Leonard Mlodinow.
Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Hawking is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.
Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks.
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