Reach for the stars | Breakthrough Funding

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Reach for the stars

Paying tribute to one of the greatest innovative minds of all time

The words ‘inspiration’ and ‘hero’ are bandied around a lot, but during his highly unlikely life, Professor Stephen Hawking inspired generations of scientists, engineers, astronauts and pretty much anyone who wanted to make the most of their time on Earth.

Undoubtedly a brilliantly clever man, Hawking’s work on black holes changed our understanding of space – Nasa has stated that his theories “unlocked a universe of possibilities.” He also strongly believed in making science accessible to everyone and his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, has sold 10 million copies.

Anyone who has ever felt curious about anything – from children in the classroom to inventors trying to solve a big problem once and for all – will have been inspired by Hawking. Not only by his academic prowess and incredibly inquisitive mind, but by the sheer grit he showed in overcoming severe disability to exceed everybody’s expectations.

Having been diagnosed with motor neurone disease at the age of just 21, Hawking was given two years to live. Over the next 55 years, he became arguably the best known, most highly respected and most inspiring figure in science.

One of his most famous quotes states:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

Every day, we’re lucky enough to meet people who reflect Hawking’s indomitable spirit in their curiosity, persistence, determination and belief that they can fulfil their potential. We’re privileged to help brilliant innovation ideas get the recognition they deserve. But Professor Stephen Hawking should always be remembered not only for looking up at the stars, but for giving the stars to us all.

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