Stephen Hawking, internationally renowned English theoretical physicist and popular science author, is scheduled to visit Israel this summer, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Hawking will travel to Israel to take part in the 5th annual Israeli Presidential Conference titled “Facing Tomorrow.” The conference, which was inaugurated in 2008 by Nobel Prize Laureate and Israeli President Shimon Peres, gathers the world’s top leaders and intellectuals in Israel for discussions on everything from science and technology to religion and politics. Past attendees have included former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Google founder Sergei Brin, former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
Despite suffering from a debilitating form of the neurodegenerative disease ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) that has left him completely paralyzed, Hawking has become an international cultural icon for his groundbreaking work in theoretical physics and cosmology. He is also renowned as an author for books such as “A Brief History of Time,” which introduced millions of non-science readers to complicated issues in cosmology such as the Theory of General Relativity, the Big Bang and black holes.
This will be Hawking’s second trip to Israel. In 2006, at the invitation of the British embassy, Hawking toured the region, speaking with local scientists and academics.