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Fellows Directory

Stephen Hawking

Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS


Elected: 1974




Stephen Hawking is an internationally regarded theoretical physicist who has made vast contributions to general relativity — our current description of gravity. Since the mid-1960s, and using new mathematical methods, he has proposed models establishing the Universe as a singularity at the start of the Big Bang and presented the laws that govern black holes. In disseminating his research to a broader audience, he has become a bestselling author.

The most famous of Stephen’s books, A Brief History of Time (1988), discusses the origin, nature and fate of the Universe — a field known as cosmology. He has also published books for children that explain theoretical physics in an accessible way. Stephen’s 2008 TED talk, Questioning the Universe, has been viewed almost 7 million times.

Stephen has received numerous other awards and accolades throughout his career, including membership of the US National Academy of Science. As a widely known public figure, he has made guest appearances in popular television series, including The Simpsons. In 2014, his life was the subject of Oscar-nominated film The Theory of Everything.


  • Copley Medal

    For his outstanding contribution to theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology.

  • Hughes Medal

    For his distinguished contributions to the application of general relativity to astrophysics, especially to the behaviour of highly condensed matter.

  • Wolf Prize

    In the field of physics for their brilliant 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. In this work they have greatly enlarged our understanding of the origin and possible fate of the Universe.