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List I – Stephen Hawking – Quotes


  1. I am in touch with a company that hopes to replicate my voice. However, they are not replicating my original voice – if they did that, I would sound like a man in his 20s, which would be very strange! They are actually trying to replicate the synthesizer that sits on my wheelchair.

  2. I am just a child who has never grown up. I still keep asking these ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions. Occasionally, I find an answer.

  3. I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.

  4. I believe everyone should have a broad picture of how the universe operates and our place in it. It is a basic human desire. And it also puts our worries in perspective.

  5. I believe in universal health care. And I am not afraid to say so.

  6. I believe the universe is governed by the laws of science. The laws may have been decreed by God, but God does not intervene to break the laws.

  7. I believe there are no questions that science can’t answer about a physical universe.

  8. I believe things cannot make themselves impossible.

  9. I can’t disguise myself with a wig and dark glasses – the wheelchair gives me away.

  10. I can’t say that my disability has helped my work, but it has allowed me to concentrate on research without having to lecture or sit on boring committees.

  11. I don’t care much for equations myself. This is partly because it is difficult for me to write them down, but mainly because I don’t have an intuitive feeling for equations.

  12. I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease, but it taught me not to pity myself because others were worse off, and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition.

  13. I don’t have much positive to say about motor neurone disease. But it taught me not to pity myself because others were worse off, and to get on with what I could still do.

  14. I don’t think the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space.

  15. I don’t want to write an autobiography because I would become public property with no privacy left.

  16. I enjoy all forms of music – pop, classical and opera.

  17. I entered the health care debate in response to a statement in the United States press in summer 2009 which claimed the National Health Service in Great Britain would have killed me off, were I a British citizen. I felt compelled to make a statement to explain the error.

  18. I first had the idea of writing a popular book about the universe in 1982. My intention was partly to earn money to pay my daughter’s school fees.

  19. I grew up thinking that a research scientist was a natural thing to be.

  20. I had a bet with Gordon Kane of Michigan University that the Higgs particle wouldn’t be found.

  21. I had not expected ‘A Brief History of Time’ to be a best seller. It was my first popular book and aroused a great deal of interest. Initially, many people found it difficult to understand. I therefore decided to try to write a new version that would be easier to follow.

  22. I had not expected ‘A Brief History of Time’ to be a best seller.

  23. I have a full and satisfying life. My work and my family are very important to me.

  24. I have found far greater enthusiasm for science in America than here in Britain. There is more enthusiasm for everything in America.

  25. I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.

  26. I have so much that I want to do. I hate wasting time.

  27. I have visited Japan several times and have always been shown wonderful hospitality.

  28. I have wanted to fly into space for many years, but never imagined it would really be feasible.

  29. I have wondered about time all my life.

  30. I hope I have helped to raise the profile of science and to show that physics is not a mystery but can be understood by ordinary people.

  31. I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.

  32. I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only form of life we have created so far is purely destructive. We’ve created life in our own image.

  33. I think it quite likely that we are the only civilization within several hundred light years; otherwise we would have heard radio waves.

  34. I think the brain is essentially a computer and consciousness is like a computer program. It will cease to run when the computer is turned off. Theoretically, it could be re-created on a neural network, but that would be very difficult, as it would require all one’s memories.

  35. I think the discovery of supersymmetric partners for the known particles would revolutionize our understanding of the universe.

  36. I think the human race doesn’t have a future if it doesn’t go into space.

  37. I think those who have a terminal illness and are in great pain should have the right to choose to end their own life, and those that help them should be free from prosecution.

  38. I think we have a good chance of surviving long enough to colonize the solar system.

  39. I used to think information was destroyed in black hole. This was my biggest blunder, or at least my biggest blunder in science.

  40. I want my books sold on airport bookstalls.

  41. I want to know why the universe exists, why there is something greater than nothing.

  42. I was born on January 8, 1942, exactly three hundred years after the death of Galileo. I estimate, however, that about two hundred thousand other babies were also born that day. I don’t know whether any of them was later interested in astronomy.

  43. I was never top of the class at school, but my classmates must have seen potential in me, because my nickname was ‘Einstein.’

  44. I was not a good student. I did not spend much time at college; I was too busy enjoying myself.

  45. I would like nuclear fusion to become a practical power source. It would provide an inexhaustible supply of energy, without pollution or global warming.

  46. I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.

  47. If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.

  48. If I had a time machine, I’d visit Marilyn Monroe in her prime or drop in on Galileo as he turned his telescope to the heavens.

  49. If I had to choose a superhero to be, I would pick Superman. He’s everything that I’m not.

  50. If the rate of expansion one second after the Big Bang had been smaller by even one part in a hundred thousand million million, it would have recollapsed before it reached its present size. On the other hand, if it had been greater by a part in a million, the universe would have expanded too rapidly for stars and planets to form.

  51. If we do discover a complete theory, it should be in time understandable in broad principle by everyone. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people be able to take part in the discussion of why we and the universe exist.

  52. If we want to travel into the future, we just need to go fast. Really fast. And I think the only way we’re ever likely to do that is by going into space.

  53. If you believe in science, like I do, you believe that there are certain laws that are always obeyed.

  54. If you understand the universe, you control it, in a way.

  55. I’m an atheist.

  56. I’m never any good in the morning. It is only after four in the afternoon that I get going.

  57. I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.

  58. Imaginary time is a new dimension, at right angles to ordinary, real time.

  59. In Britain, like most of the developed world, stem-cell research is regarded as a great opportunity. America will be left behind if it doesn’t change policy.

  60. In less than a hundred years, we have found a new way to think of ourselves. From sitting at the center of the universe, we now find ourselves orbiting an average-sized sun, which is just one of millions of stars in our own Milky Way galaxy.

  61. In my opinion, there is no aspect of reality beyond the reach of the human mind.

  62. In my school, the brightest boys did math and physics, the less bright did physics and chemistry, and the least bright did biology. I wanted to do math and physics, but my father made me do chemistry because he thought there would be no jobs for mathematicians.

  63. In the past, there was active discrimination against women in science. That has now gone, and although there are residual effects, these are not enough to account for the small numbers of women, particularly in mathematics and physics.

  64. Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.

  65. It is extremely important to me to write for children.

  66. It is generally recognised that women are better than men at languages, personal relations and multi-tasking, but less good at map-reading and spatial awareness. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose that women might be less good at mathematics and physics.

  67. It is no good getting furious if you get stuck. What I do is keep thinking about the problem but work on something else. Sometimes it is years before I see the way forward. In the case of information loss and black holes, it was 29 years.

  68. It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value.

  69. It now appears that the way the universe began can indeed be determined, using imaginary time.

  70. It was Einstein’s dream to discover the grand design of the universe, a single theory that explains everything. However, physicists in Einstein’s day hadn’t made enough progress in understanding the forces of nature for that to be a realistic goal.

  71. It’s a pity that nobody has found an exploding black hole. If they had, I would have won a Nobel prize.

  72. It’s time to commit to finding the answer, to search for life beyond Earth. Mankind has a deep need to explore, to learn, to know. We also happen to be sociable creatures. It is important for us to know if we are alone in the dark.

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