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07-01-12, 07:10 PM
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/3462939589_2e0a751fb2.jpeg Stephen Hawking at a NASA fiftieth anniversary event in 2008.
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Stephen Hawking is near-universally recognized as a brilliant scientist, and one small facet of his complex genius is the rockstar ability to democratize scientific knowledge. It's becoming increasingly important as purveyors of pop culture continue to eschew acknowledgment and respect for the most basic scientific principles. Hollywood in particular has continued its marginalization of scientific knowledge with blatant disregard in recent films (http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/06/science-gets-burned-by-prometheus/).

But Hawking acts like a great counter force against anti-intellectual movements. He takes complex scientific principles and explains them so the general public can understand and, more importantly, appreciate the science behind them. He inspires people to want to know more about Calabiā??Yau manifolds and multiverses. That is why Stephen Hawking rocks our scientific world.

So I (and everyone around me) felt a consummate air of curiosity in the Paramount Theater lobby on June 16, as Dr. Hawking arrived for an appearance at the Seattle Science Festival (http://seattlesciencefestival.org/). But what was everyone curious about? Was it Dr. Hawking's motor neuron disease? Or how his speech synthesizer works, perhaps?

Read 11 remaining paragraphs (http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/07/steven-hawking-on-time-travel-m-theory-and-extra-terrestrial-life/) | Comments (http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/07/steven-hawking-on-time-travel-m-theory-and-extra-terrestrial-life/?comments=1#comments-bar)



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