Stephen Hawking taught us it was right to be wrong

Professor Stephen Hawking with his former wife Jane (left) and daughter Lucy at the British Academy Film Awards in London in 2015. The Cambridge University scientist died on Wednesday, aged 76.
Professor Stephen Hawking with his former wife Jane (left) and daughter Lucy at the British Academy Film Awards in London in 2015. The Cambridge University scientist died on Wednesday, aged 76.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

In 2002, the future Nobel Prize winner Peter Higgs joined several fellow physicists at a dinner in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Drinks flowed, and professional invective followed. The physicists were frustrated by, and perhaps a little jealous of, Professor Stephen Hawking, reported The Scotsman newspaper the next morning.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Stephen Hawking taught us it was right to be wrong'. Subscribe