Today we remember one of the world’s most eminent scientists and most recognisable faces, Professor Stephen Hawking, who died this morning at the age of 76.
Professor Hawking’s achievements are many and will be covered extensively over the coming days, but his support of charity is something that may slip under the radar.
Hawking lent his status as a world-famous figure to countless campaigns and charity initiatives; from setting up a foundation in his name (The Stephen Hawking Foundation), aimed at facilitating research into Cosmology, Astrophysics and Fundamental Particle Physics, as well as facilitating and supporting work relating to Motor Neurone Disease (MND) and those living with the disease – a condition that Professor Hawking had lived with for more than 50 years.
Further charity work included everything from lending his name and voice to MND fundraising events, including a recent swim across the River Thames in London, to appearing as a guest speaker at charity conferences and of course his work on TV, including his memorable sketch on Comic Relief where celebrities auditioned to be his ‘new voice’.
Not only was Professor Hawking an inspiration in his professional life, but a great example of how someone with high public profile can make a real difference to charity campaigns and messages.
A life well lived.