Stephen Hawking honoured

2010-06-03 09:29
New York - Luminaries from the fields of physics, opera, poetry, theatre, music and dance gathered to pay tribute to British physicist Stephen Hawking on Wednesday, with performances and speeches at a gala in his honour.

After outliving his predicted death from his degenerative disease by more than 40 years, Hawking told the audience filling Lincoln Centre's Alice Tully Hall that he is thinking about what he will leave behind.

"As scientists, we step on the shoulders of science, building on the work that has come before us - aiming to inspire a new generation of young scientists to continue once we are gone," Hawking told the crowd with the help of an electronic speech synthesiser. "I am proud to have played a small role in this great story."

The gala merging the arts and science was the kick-off event for this year's World Science Festival, a five-day gathering meant to bring some of the universe's most complex topics to the masses.

"It really seems strange to me, that with all that's known about science, with all that's known by science about the universe, so little of it reaches us in the general public," actor and science buff Alan Alda said in his welcome speech, calling the resulting ignorance a "dangerous darkness".

Geek power

In introducing Hawking, friend and fellow physicist James B Hartle told the audience that the public's image of the nearly paralysed Hawking as a lone figure trapped by physical limitations is false.

Instead, he said, Hawking, who is best known for his work explaining the physics of black holes, has been surrounded by former students and built collaborative relationships with colleagues.

Above all, Hartle said, Hawking is able to see past mental clutter, discard assumptions and catch hold of undiscovered truths.

Even Hartle's brief discussion of the nature of time before the Big Bang seemed to appeal to an audience with enough geek power that they applauded for a Star Trek: The Next Generation clip that featured Hawking and laughed with recognition as Broadway singers launched into a song about a calculus equation.

The evening also featured the première of Icarus at the Edge of Time, an orchestral work composed by Philip Glass and based on the children's book by celebrity physicist and festival co-founder Brian Greene.

The cautionary tale about the dangers and wonders of reaching out for new knowledge follows a space faring teenager as he journeys to the edge of a black hole, only to find that thousands of years have passed when he returns.

The piece, illustrated by video artists and narrated live by actor John Lithgow, was adapted by Greene and famed playwright David Henry Hwang.

Other performances featured Broadway star Danny Burstein, who sang an upbeat tune about the nature of the galaxy, and his wife, Rebecca Luker, who sang a darkly comic piece about what New York City might look like underwater.

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, poet Elizabeth Alexander, jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov and New York City Ballet dancer Tiler Peck all performed pieces on related themes.
- AP
Read more on:    stephen hawking  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Sales Representative

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Mpumalanga Personnel & Training Consultants

ELECTRICIAN (Permanent) Moorreesburg, Western Cape

Western Cape
Full Circle Consulting & Trading (Pty) Ltd

C# Developer

Cape Town
Communicate Cape Town IT
R15 000 - R20 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to combine imagination, information and creativity together. Try not to over rationalise things and rather...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.