We all have heroes. On 21st April 2016, the hero of the creative part of me passed away when Prince died in his home. This morning, 1th March 2018, I lost my other hero.
Professor Stephen Hawking was the scientific genius of our time. Many miss the scale of this genius. In human history there are three names that define our understanding of the world around us and how it works: Newton, Einstein, Hawking. There will be many obituaries written that detail his many extraordinary scientific achievements and how he has expanded our understanding of the universe in which we live. There will be many obituaries that focus on Stephen Hawking's ongoing fight with ALS and his drive to continue his work with a body that was failing him daily. This is not that obituary.
Stephen Hawking had one of the most astute and sharp minds of an entire generation and a social conscience to go with it. Stephen Hawking was a humanist and a realist. He believed in people and was not a religious man, in times where religion is often used as an excuse for some of the most barbaric acts that humanity is capable of and where atheism and agnosticism are becoming less and less acceptable. In recent years he fervently supported Remain in the EU referendum, had spoken out directly against Donald Trump and cautioned us on how we manage emerging artificial intelligence (a position I strongly agree with). He didn't hold back when taking Jeremy Hunt to task over the terrible state of the NHS. This is a man who could see the missteps in the world before they happen and who had the wherewithal to warn us of the consequences of our actions. His voice is a voice the world sorely needed today; a voice of progress but tempered with caution; a voice of power but tempered with humanity; a voice of intelligence but tempered with passion.
Rest In Peace Stephen; The world has been enlightened by your presence and is a darker place now you have gone.