Stephen Hawking’s Inspirational Quotes Are Even More Powerful Today

‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet’

From the editors of Marie Claire 

Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking has died aged 76.

Stephen was revered in the science world for his discoveries around black holes and general relativity, but he was probably most famed for his resilience, diagnosed with a degenerative motor neurone disease while studying at university and given just two and a half years to live.

‘I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die,’ the author of A Brief History of Time once explained. ‘I have so much I want to do first.’ And that he did – going on to become one of the greatest physicists of the 21st century.

While it’s a sad day for science, it is also a day to remember Stephen Hawking as the inspirational figure that he was.

Stephen Hawking’s most inspirational quotes

1. ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.’

2. ‘One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.’

3. ‘I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road.’

4. ‘We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us something very special.’

5. ‘The universe doesn’t allow perfection.’

6. ‘It surprises me how disinterested we are today about things like physics, space, the universe and philosophy of our existence, our purpose, our final destination. It’s a crazy world out there. Be curious.’

7. ‘Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this.’

8. ‘People who boast about their I.Q. are losers.’

9. ‘We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.’

10. ‘Although I cannot move and I have to speak through a computer, in my mind I am free.’

11. ‘Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.’

12. ‘I’m not afraid of death, but I’m in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first.’

13. ‘Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.’

14. ’Where there’s life, there’s hope.’

Stephen Hawking’s death was confirmed by his children late last night, releasing a statement to The Guardian.

‘We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today,’ the statement read. ‘He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, “It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.” We will miss him forever.’

The announcement prompted an outpouring of tributes from leading figures, from NASA and Tim Peake, to actor Eddie Redmayne who played Hawking in the 2014 film The Theory of Everything.

‘We have lost a truly beautiful mind, an astonishing scientist and the funniest man I have ever had the pleasure to meet,’ Redmayne said of Hawking. ‘My love and thoughts are with his extraordinary family.’

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Stephen Hawking’s death…

Sharon Stone

Macaulay Culkin

Tim Peake

Emmy Rossum

Mayim Bialik

Bette Midler

Mira Sorvino

David Walliams

What an incredible mind that we have lost.

Our thoughts are with his family.