The Human Cost of Science: Stephen Hawking and The Theory of Everything

November 13, 2014 2:48 AM

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Stephen Hawking is one of our greatest living geniuses—his insights into the nature of black holes, space and time have truly revolutionized physics. But his breakthroughs did not spring from his mind fully formed—they required hard work and sacrifice, from both the physicist and from his first wife, Jane Wilde. In the new biographical film The Theory of Everything we see the toll Hawking’s work and his illness took on their marriage and on both individuals.

The film portrays physics as Hawking’s first and deepest love, his driving reason for living. As he becomes increasingly disabled by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Hawking’s brain seems to drag his body unwillingly along for the ride. The person who enables all this, who carries and feeds and ...

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