Stephen Hawking: blending science with science fiction

Menadue, Christopher Benjamin (2018) Stephen Hawking: blending science with science fiction. The Conversation, 6 April 2018.

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Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died recently at the age of 76.

He was a man who had a significant influence on the way we view science today, noted for his work with Sir Roger Penrose on the singularities at the origins and future of the universe, starting with the Big Bang, and ending in black holes. His work had significant implications for the search for a unified theory that would link Einstein’s general relativity with quantum mechanics, and discussions that originated from his work continue to reverberate in the field of theoretical physics.

Beyond doing an excellent job of raising the public profile of black holes, Hawking also wrote and spoke publicly on issues beyond his research. He expressed concerns about the possible impacts of artificial intelligence, and the questionable wisdom of attracting alien visitors.

Was he presenting new concerns? Or were these ideas already deeply rooted in prior science, or envisaged in fiction? The answer lies in the complex relationship between science and science fiction.

Item ID: 53188
Item Type: Article (Commentary)
Keywords: Stephen Hawking; science fiction; black holes; artificial intelligence; aliens
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Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 05:02
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200212 Screen and Media Culture @ 50%
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