7 Stephen Hawking Values That Mustn’t Be Forgotten

In the wake of Stephen Hawking’s death on Wednesday at the age of 76, many are remembering him for his renowned brain. What’s not getting as much attention, though, is his big heart and fairly liberal politics.

If we’re going to honor him as one of the world’s greatest minds, then we ought to pay attention to the lessons and values he spoke about during his time on this planet:

1. CLIMATE CHANGE

In Hawking’s later years, no topic seemed to stir him more than climate change. “We’re close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible,” he said, while also acknowledging that disaster could be avoided by using the scientific knowledge we already have.

The solutions are already known, yet we let our own stubbornness get in the way. We must counter corporate greed and corrupt politicians NOW to give humanity a fighting chance.

2. PUBLIC HEALTH CARE

Not many people diagnosed with motor neurone disease survive as long as Hawking did, and he credits his longevity to the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK for giving him the care that would have been unaffordable in systems like those that exist in the United States.

As recently as last year, Hawking continued to advocate for more funding and more doctors for the NHS because it is literally a lifesaver and essential service. He saw how the NHS was becoming more privatized and warned his countrymen not to let it get out of control like it has in the U.S.

3. FEMINISM

“I have always supported women’s rights,” said Hawking in an interview, pointing out that he had lobbied his college to open admission to women. When asked whether science had dictated his outlook on gender equality, he argued that it’s not a matter of science but “general acceptance that women are at least the equals of men.”

4. SCIENTIFIC FUNDING AND ADVANCEMENT

Okay, so it’s probably not surprising that a scientist would advocate for better scientific funding or to utilize research in public policy for that matter, but that doesn’t make his stance any less relevant. The future is uncertain, and the best we can do is to gather as much information as we can to best face the challenges of tomorrow.

5. ASSISTED SUICIDE

Though Hawking seriously considered ending his own life in his young years, he ultimately decided to hold on. Still, that doesn’t mean it made him opposed to euthanasia altogether.

“To keep someone alive against their wishes is the ultimate indignity,” said Hawking. “I [personally] would consider assisted suicide only if I were in great pain or felt I had nothing more to contribute but was just a burden to those around me.” Nevertheless, he recognizes it as an important option to those who are at the end of their lives.

6. NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Hawking considers nuclear weapons one of the biggest threats to the survival of the human race. “Technology has advanced at such a pace that this aggression may destroy us all by nuclear or biological war,” Hawking warned.

In addition to publicly lobbying for arms reductions, he did offer hope for avoiding catastrophe. “We need to control this inherited instinct by our logic and reason,” he said. “We need to be quicker to identify such threats and act before they get out of control.”

7. RESIST TRUMP

On the subject of Donald Trump, Hawking said, “He is a demagogue who appeals to the lowest common denominator.” Asked if his brilliant mind could explain how Trump could ever get elected in the first place, he simply said, “I can’t.” Some things just defy logic.

Photo Credit: Dough Wheller

331 comments

Marie W
Marie W1 months ago

Thank you for posting

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Shirley P
Shirley Plowman3 months ago

HE WAS A GIFT TO OUR WORLD, VALUE IT.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson5 months ago

Thank you!

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joan silaco
joan s6 months ago

TYFS

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Marge F
Marge F6 months ago

An intelligent, wise man indeed! Thank you for posting.

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Heather H
Heather H6 months ago

He was a great scientist. He was correct on alot of his values and opinions. We lost a good man. I think we did and still can learn alot from him and his values.

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Peggy B
Peggy B6 months ago

TYFS

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Elaine W
Elaine W6 months ago

Stephen Hawking was a courageous and remarkable man and the world is better for the life he lived.

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Marianne R
Marianne R6 months ago

Thank you!

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Albert Wrzesinski
Albert Wrzesinski6 months ago

"Women are at least the equals of men." - Can't think of a better way to describe moderate third wave feminism, a sexist ideology that pretends to fight for equality but really only cares about female privileges in developed countries.

"Some things just defy logic." - If the Democrats endorsed a better candidate or if they didn't smear all reasonable Republicans, Trump wouldn't have had won. Their hubris greatly contributed to him getting elected. Now stop crying and learn your lesson.

Guess despite being a brilliant scientist, Hawking didn't know all that much about social issues.

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