Rocket science

You know all those times you heard, “It’s not rocket science!” Well, some things are rocket science.

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Stephen Hawking is ill

Stephen Hawking, the theoretical physicist, is in hospital with a chest infection. It seems that his condition has stabilized, but when one has ALS, any additional illness is serious. Read Doug Saunders’ article.

Hawking’s illness puts Perimeter’s hopes in peril: Renowned physicist set to shift key research to Waterloo institute:

The grave turn in the health of the cosmologist, who was described by a Cambridge University spokesman last night as “very ill” with a chest infection before he stabilized to a more comfortable condition, occurred as he was on the verge of shifting some of his most important work from Cambridge to Waterloo, Ont.

The move of important aspects of his work to the  Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, where he was named Distinguished Research Chair in November, was to take place this summer, and marked a turn toward Canada for many leading physicists who have become disenchanted with the major British universities and drawn to the Canadian centre.

“Throughout his career Stephen has battled enormous odds to do great science, and to inspire others by his example,” Perimeter director Neil Turok, who is also chair of mathematical physics at Harvard Cambridge, said in a statement last night.

“Our thoughts and hopes are with him at this time, and we wish him the speediest possible recovery. We are greatly looking forward to welcoming Stephen to Perimeter Institute for his first research visit as a Distinguished Research Chair this summer.”

…The 67-year-old scientist, who is completely paralyzed, is in a wheelchair and talks with a head-controlled speech synthesizer, was diagnosed at age 21 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable condition also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It is unusual for people with this nervous-system condition, which destroys muscle control, to survive for more than 10 years.

Professor Hawking developed chest problems in March.

In recent years, both Prof. Turok and Prof. Hawking became disenchanted with the British government’s alleged lack of commitment to theoretical science, and turned to Canada as what they saw as a more generously funded alternative.

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