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Fellows Directory

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

Credit: Photo Godfrey Argent Studio

Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS


Elected: 1974


Stephen Hawking was an internationally regarded theoretical physicist who made vast contributions to general relativity — our current description of gravity. Since the mid-1960s, and using new mathematical methods, he 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 became 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 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 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 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.

Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS died on 14 March 2018.

Biographical Memoir


  • 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.

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