“Why?” – Does the word ring a bell? Well, maybe not, since not many of us have often looked at this word in the deeper sense and probably never tried to discover the essence behind it. But one man did and he found the answers and gave us theories to which we react with awe till date. Theories galore in an embellished career of brilliance along with witty dry humor much suitable to men of letters, very lively, interested in classical music and science fiction, he grew up to be a genius in the field of sciences and education.
He preferred to call himself a scientist first, a science writer second, and in all the ways that it mattered, a human being last. Yes, we are speaking of the genius who was named Stephen William Hawking, universally known as Stephen Hawking, whom we have seen through our growing years talking of theories with absolute elan and grace, as someone who did not mince his words to disagree with something if he really did.
Hawking’s influence on education has been a tremendous one, something at par with the Shakespearean influence on English Language, of which the most popular belief was the double superlative, as Shakespeare put it through Lady Macbeth, “This is the most unkindest cut of all.” His theories of Hawking Radiation have been popular for years and will be spoken of in the years to come, along with other theories like Cosmological Inflation, N=8 Supergravity, etc., many of which decreed the violation of the fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics and have led to years of debate.
Science has progressed, yes, but of course with someone like Stephen Hawking it has progressed in leaps and bounds and will continue doing so. Albeit we will miss someone like him dearly in a way that the question “why” may come up rarely against popular theories in the future. Education which encompasses Humanities, Sciences, Creative Arts, have benefited from individuals who question things with confidence and something close to brashness that exuded the belligerence of the individuals and makes us seek answers from within and without, with the singular approach that we may find the answers to their “whys”.
And that is the reason, I guess, we will never lose our perspective of the big question in everything we do in life, and we will never lose our awe for a man who we lost today, the 14th of March 2018. I still ponder when I think of the single word “Why” hanging on a board outside his offices at the University of Cambridge Why did we lose him? The answer to that I do not know and I wouldn’t imagine him knowing it either.
Mr. Stephen Hawking, here’s to you, for today, and for years to come. Your theories in science thrilled, your writing chilled, and your death saddened our hearts.