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Stephen Hawking's history and achievements

Emma Hart

Throughout history behind all great business ventures, brands and ideas are the icons – the people who we look to for inspiration.

Here at IconInc we not only want to deliver the absolute best in student living, we want to provide an environment where people feel inspired to work and learn. Not only by their surroundings, but by the people around them and the icons that inspire them.

We will be looking at physics icon Stephen Hawking, which this month sees the new film based on his life ‘The Theory of Everything’.

A Brief History…

Hawking attended the University of Oxford to complete his undergraduate degree before moving on to the University of Cambridge to further his studies and gain his doctorate in Cosmology.

During his postgraduate studies Hawking challenged many of the worlds leading physicists regarding the creation of the Universe and gained a research fellowship at the Gonville and Caius College. While at University he developed a rare, slow progressing form of Lou Gehrig’s disease that over the years has slowly paralysed Hawking and led to him now communicating through a cheek muscle attached to a speech generator.


Hawking has a long list of achievements spanning the course of over 50 years. This includes being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest possible award that can be given to a civilian.

Hawking’s first publication ‘A Brief History of Time’ in 1988 has sold over 10 million copies and was on the Sunday Times bestseller list for more than four years.

An Icon

Hawking has been outspoken over the years regarding his atheism and his disdain for modern philosophers. He has however become a scientific philosopher in his own right. Recently asking the question ‘how can humanity survive another 100 years?’ regarding the political, social and environmental chaos of the planet.

Perhaps the main achievement of Hawking has been his ability to overlook and overcome his disability, defying all odds regarding his own illness and refusing to let it affect his academic achievements. This has in turn, inspired many others in similar situations to do the same. He has not only been an icon for scientific discovery, he is also an example of what can be achieved when you overcome the obstacles in your own life.

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