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Tributes paid to Stephen Hawking from across the globe

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Professor Stephen Hawking in March 2015. Picture: Andre Pattenden
Professor Stephen Hawking in March 2015. Picture: Andre Pattenden

People and organisations across the globe have been paying tribute to the visionary physicist Professor Stephen Hawking, who has died aged 76.

The Motor Neurone Disease Association said it was saddened to learn the death of Prof Hawking, who has been a patron of the charity since 2008.

He added: “Our thoughts are with Professor Hawking’s family. Throughout his inspirational life Professor Hawking played a vital role in raising awareness of motor neurone disease around the world.”

Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Professor Stephen Hawking was a brilliant and extraordinary mind - one of the great scientists of his generation. His courage, humour, and determination to get the most from life was an inspiration. His legacy will not be forgotten.”

Space Agency NASA tweeted: “Remembering Stephen Hawking, a renowned physicist and ambassador of science. His theories unlocked a universe of possibilities that we and the world are exploring. May you keep flying like superman in microgravity, as you said to astronauts on @Space_Station in 2014.”

Professor Brian Cox said: “Sad to hear about Stephen Hawking. What a remarkable life. His contributions to science will be used as long as there are scientists, and there are many more scientists because of him. He spoke about the value and fragility of human life and civilisation and greatly enhanced both.”

British astronaut Tim Peake said: “He inspired generations to look beyond our own blue planet and expand our understanding of the universe. His personality and genius will be sorely missed. My thoughts are with his family.”

Atheist and author Richard Dawkins said: “Silent face, the marble index of a mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone. Wordsworth was writing of Newton, but he might have been foreseeing the silent face of Newton’s great successor as Lucasian Professor.”

Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn said: “Stephen Hawking inspired the world with his determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos. But he also showed breath-taking courage to overcome life’s adversities and a burning passion to protect our National Health Service. He will be greatly missed.”

Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner said: “I am very sorry to hear that the world and Cambridge has lost the wonderful Stephen Hawking - an inspirational scientist, with a powerful social conscience.”

Cambridge mayor George Pippas said: “I am saddened to learn of Professor Hawking’s death.

“His academic achievements were remarkable, and his life story was an inspiration to so many.

“As well as being a renowned physicist he was one of our city’s most prominent figures. His life and work will be remembered by people around the world and not least in Cambridge.”

South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen said Stephen Hawking had inspired her to study astrophysics at University College London.

Actor Eddie Redmayne, who played him on film in The Theory of Everything, said: “We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet.”

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who also played him on screen, said: “He virtually created the publishing genre of popular science: a heroic feat to bring the wondrous complexities of the universe to all outside of specialists in this field.”

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