Friday, February 24, 2023

Beginning ~ with Stephen's day of birth

I was born on January 8, 1942, exactly three hundred years after the death of Galileo.  However, I estimate that about two hundred thousand other babies were also born that day.  I don't know whether any of them were later interested in astronomy.  I was born in Oxford, even though my parents were living in London.  This was because Oxford was a good place to be born during World War II.  The Germans had an agreement that they would not bomb Oxford and Cambridge, in return for the British not bombing Heidelberg and G√∂ttingen.  It is a pity that this civilized sort of arrangement couldn't have been extended to more cities."
Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays ~ by Stephen W. Hawking, 1993, science essays, ix + 182 pages
Readers worldwide have come to know the work of Stephen Hawking through his million-copy hardcover best-seller A Brief History of Time.  This collection includes thirteen essays on cosmology plus an interview that was broadcast by the BBC on Christmas Day, 1992.  These fourteen pieces reveal Hawking variously as the scientist, the man, the concerned world citizen, and always as a rigorous and imaginative thinker.  Hawking's wit, directness of style, and absence of pomp characterize all of the articles, whether he is remembering his first experience at nursery school,; calling for adequate education in science that will enable the public to play its part in making informed decisions on matters such as nuclear disarmament, exploring the origins of the future of the universe, or reflecting on the history of A Brief History of Time.  This is an important work from one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century.
If you'd like to read more, I wrote about Stephen Hawking when he died in 2018, HERE.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts
Book Beginnings on Fridays.

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