Stephen Hawking gets warm welcome at Waterloo

Cosmologist expects "great things" from Perimeter Institute

Stephen Hawking made his long-awaited Ontario debut in a lecture at Waterloo’s Perimeter Institute to an audience of cabinet ministers, academics, and business folks, including Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and federal Finance Minister James Flaherty. Through his computerized voice system, the British cosmologist spoke about his life and work in science, his pursuit of answers to questions about the beginning of the universe, and his work on black holes. Attendees reported that at times, his voice was difficult to understand, but he remained as determined as ever to work the computer that allows him to speak despite suffering with the motor-neuron condition Lou Gehrig’s disease. The talk marks his only public appearance during his six-week stay in Waterloo. Mike Lazaridis, the co-founder of Research in Motion who established the Perimeter Institute, lured Hawking to Waterloo along with other internationally recognized researchers in hopes of making more breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe. “New ideas are needed if we are to secure our future,” he said. “I’m convinced great ideas will lead to solutions.”

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