In memory of Prof Stephen Hawking

We at Scientists for Global Responsibility are deeply saddened to hear of the death today of Professor Stephen Hawking – who had been a patron of our organisation since its formation in 1992, and of its predecessor Scientists Against Nuclear Arms.

Media release, 14 March 2018

 

Full text of media release:

We at Scientists for Global Responsibility are deeply saddened to hear of the death today of Professor Stephen Hawking – who had been a patron of our organisation since its formation in 1992, and of its predecessor Scientists Against Nuclear Arms.

Although he will be most remembered for his contribution to research in astrophysics, Prof Hawking also regularly warned about how the misuse of science and technology could endanger human civilisation and our environment. For example, in 2006, he said, “Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of.” [1]

He was especially supportive of SGR’s work on nuclear disarmament and our opposition to the renewal of the UK’s Trident nuclear weapons system. In 2007, he said, “Nuclear war remains the greatest danger to the survival of the human race. To replace Trident would make it more difficult to get arms reduction and increase the risk.” [2] In 2016, he co-signed an SGR open letter from leading scientists and engineers calling on MPs to vote against Trident renewal. [3]

Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of SGR, said “Prof Hawking cared deeply about the future of humanity and the responsible use of science and technology. One of his key concerns was the threat from nuclear weapons. We will miss his support and send our deepest condolences to his family.”
 

Notes

1. Washington Post (2006). http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/13/AR2006061301185_pf.html
2. The Independent (2007). http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/not-in-our-name-campaign-launched-against-trident-436428.html
3. SGR (2016). http://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/stephen-hawking-and-other-leading-scientists-urge-mps-vote-against-trident-renewal
4. Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) is an independent UK membership organisation of about 750 natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, and other professionals in related areas. It was formed in 1992. SGR’s work is focused on a range of issues, including security and disarmament, climate change, sustainable energy, and who controls science and technology? For more information, see http://www.sgr.org.uk/
5. SGR’s work on nuclear weapons can be found at:
http://www.sgr.org.uk/projects/nuclear-weapons-threat-main-outputs