There are questions flying around as to why the late Stephen Hawking never received a knighthood, because if anybody should, it’s him, right.
The physicist accepted CBE and CH honours, but turned down a knighthood some time in the late 90s.
In 2008, it was said he was offered a knighthood but declined it due to the ‘lack of the UK government’s science funding’.
Stephen Hawking turned down a knighthood 20 years ago due to the government's poor funding of science.
— Jordan Coombe (@Jordan_Coombe) March 14, 2018
You can see Piers Morgan’s shock at Hawking not having a knighthood in the clip below:
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Speaking about Hawking’s death on Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan said:
He should have got a Nobel Prize and he should have got a knighthood. Don’t know what happened there.
A guest on the news programme, and ambassador for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, told Piers he had been offered it.
The guest continued: ‘He was a commander which I do believe is higher than a knighthood.’
The reason why a Nobel Prize in Physics eluded Professor Hawking is that it requires ‘observational data’.
Hawking was, however, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.
He died peacefully at his home, surrounded by family, in the early hours of Wednesday March 14, also called pi day (3.14).
His children, Lucy, Robert and Tim, announced the sad news this morning.
Their statement reads:
He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years.
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.
Hawking was Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge, whos scientific works include a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity.
He put forward the theoretical prediction stating black holes emit radiation, which is now often called Hawking radiation.
Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics and was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.
While Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, said:
We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.
Stephen Hawking is not the only person to have turned down a knighthood, others include children’s author, Roald Dahl, who reportedly refused a knighthood in 1986.
David Bowie refused a CBE in 2000 and a knighthood in 2003. According to Music News, Bowie, who died in January, 2016, said:
I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that. I seriously don’t know what it’s for. It’s not what I spent my life working for.
Award-winning director Danny Boyle was offered a knighthood after his Opening Ceremony routine at the London Olympics in 2012 but rejected the title, saying he’d rather be a ‘man of the people’, writes the Independent.
Rest in peace.