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Stephen Hawking: Card. Nichols (Catholic primate), “extraordinary contribution to knowledge”

(London) “We thank Stephen Hawking for his extraordinary contribution to science. The Pontifical Academy of science (he was part of it) misses him and will also commemorate him”. Thus Primate of the Catholic Church of England and Wales Cardinal Vincent Nichols recalled the great scientist in a tweet, while the Cambridge college flag is at half-mast. The Gonville & Caius Cambridge College was the alma mater of Hawking. The list of the signatures in the condolence book open to the public is getting longer. The voice of the Cardinal was joined by Professor Denis Alexander, Director of the “Faraday Institute for Science and Religion”, ecumenical centre for studying science and religion at the University of Cambridge, in which Hawking spent his whole life. “The God of Hawking is a God of holes”, tweeted Professor Alexander: “He used to fill up today’s holes in our scientific knowledge”. An through Twitter, Lord Martin Rees, a famous cosmologist as well as study partner and colleague of Hawking, recalled how the scientist “has always fought for the disabled, and has always listened to the problems of others”, and how “he got out of the depression hitting him when his illness was diagnosed in hospital; he compared his condition with that of the boy in the bed beside him, who was dying of leukaemia”.

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