He tries not to think too much in the morning, but by night the problems of the universe keep Stephen Hawking awake. Fellow physicist Brian Cox asks him about the big issues facing science.
Physicist Stephen Hawking got the world’s attention a long time ago. The brilliant scientist, trapped in wheel chair and Lou Gehrig’s disease, whose mind encompassed the cosmos.
In “A Brief History of Time”, Hawking laid out what we knew of the universe in compelling imagery and metaphor.
Now he’s back, with physicist Leonard Mlodinow, for a cosmic update. Not one universe out there, but many, they say. And no need now for God to explain the origin of everything. Science, they say, will do it.
A new warning from astrophysicist and global science guru Stephen Hawking: Do not talk to aliens.
The brilliant Hawking is wheel-chair bound and speaks through a computer. But he’s thinking about the cosmos.
With billions of galaxies, trillions of stars, the numbers tell him there’s life out there. The smartest forms could make it here. But we should not want that, says Hawking. Too much danger.
Other scientists disagree. We’ll hear that debate, and talk to the man who heads Earth’s greeting committee for aliens.
Deepak Chopra and physicist Leonard Mlodinow join us to talk science and spirit.
America was built on science. America was rooted in religion. For 200 years, both thrived. In the last quarter-century, they’ve clashed. And the clash has been costly.
Can we settle this? Maybe. We’ve got two big figures with us today who have taken on the war of worldviews.
Man of spirit, Deepak Chopra. Man of science, Leonard Mlodinow. One a giant in the realm of spiritual guidance. One a Stephen Hawking-scale master of physics and the scientific way.
Both ready to hash it out.
This week’s show is dedicated to a discussion of the six books shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books.
Next week the winner of the prestigious Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books will be announced. Previous winners have included Jared Diamond (twice), Stephen Hawking, Steve Jones, Bill Bryson and Stephen Jay Gould.
To discuss the merits of the shortlisted books (see below), Alok Jha is joined by one of the prize judges, Kim Shillinglaw, who is commissioning editor for science and natural history at BBC TV, and by science writer Ruth Francis, formerly of head of press at Nature Publishing Group.
During the course of this week the Guardian will review all the books online. We’re also giving away two complete sets of the shortlisted titles in our usual science trivia competition.
- The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
- The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
- The Information by James Gleick
- My Beautiful Genome by Lone Frank
- Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
- The Viral Storm by Nathan Wolfe
Leonard Mlodinow and co-author Stephen Hawking say that you can explain the existence of everything without requiring God. Charles Yu’s novel details some of the perils of existence in multiple time streams. James Kakalios says that some of the early quantum physicists were inspired by science fiction. John Polkinghorne is the author of many books on the subject of bridging the gap between science and religion. Michio Kaku tells us exactly why the impossible just takes a little longer.
Stephen Hawking is known for his research into relativity, black holes, and quantum mechanics, as well as for the disease that has left him almost entirely paralyzed. But the theoretical cosmologist says that, were he to start from scratch, he wouldn’t focus on physics.
Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by Jonathan Ross, graphic novelist Alan Moore and string theorist Brian Greene for a special science fiction themed programme.
Stephen Hawking says that, were he to start from scratch, he wouldn’t focus on physics.
Sir Roger Penrose is Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and is the best-selling author of The Emperor’s New Mind. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, most notably the Wolf Prize in physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their "development of the theory of general relativity, in which they have shown the necessity for cosmological singularities and have elucidated the physics of black holes… enlarging our understanding of the origin and possible fate of the Universe." Penrose was knighted in 1994 and currently lives in Oxford, England.