IOP responds to sad news of the death of Stephen Hawking

14 March 2018

The Institute of Physics was greatly saddened to hear of the death this morning of internationally-renowned cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking, who was an Honorary Fellow of IOP.

IOP responds to sad news of the death of Stephen Hawking

Tributes to Professor Hawking flooded in from around the world and from leading figures in the physics community, including the Astronomer Royal Lord Rees, who said that his life had been “a triumph” and from Professor Brian Cox, who said his contributions to science would be used as long as there are scientists.

IOP chief executive Professor Paul Hardaker said: “It’s sad to hear the news that Stephen has passed away. A quite remarkable physicist and certainly a remarkable person. He made several fundamental and lasting contributions to cosmology but is probably best known by the public for his passion and enthusiasm in sharing his knowledge of how the universe works. It was a pleasure to have known him and we will very much miss him. Our best wishes are with Stephen’s family.”

IOP President Professor Dame Julia Higgins added: “I’m deeply saddened to learn of Stephen Hawking’s death. His passing is such a loss to the world of science where he played a central role in shaping our understanding of the cosmos.

“Stephen is rightly known across the world for his contributions to theoretical physics and cosmology, for his best-selling books – and for steadfastly overcoming a debilitating illness to become one of the world’s greatest scientists.

“He was a remarkable science communicator and through his public appearances and broadcasting he led the way in popularising physics and expanding our understanding of the universe. His book A Brief History of Time opened up the mysteries of space, time and black holes to the public – and his courage and humour inspired millions.

“Stephen’s genius, passion and resilience made him a living symbol of scientific endeavour. His work and legacy will inspire physicists for generations to come. He will be sorely missed”.

A news item and obituary of Professor Hawking appears in Physics World and there is an obituary in MyIOP, which can also be read on the IOP blog.