Stephen Hawking has said that he fears for the future of the human race if the attitudes brought to the fore during the Brexit campaign are not reconsidered.
In an essay for The Guardian, the professor outlined how he felt the EU referendum was influenced by attitudes towards wealth and how our society prioritises money and possessions.
He also revealed how the Brexit vote could have a negative effect on the availability of funding and grants for important research like he has carried out.
Professor Hawking wrote:
Government spending cuts in the UK will diminish support for disabled students, support that helped me during my career.
Cash can set individuals free, just as poverty can certainly trap them and limit their potential, to their own detriment and that of the human race.
In his essay, he urged a ‘divided Britain’ to shift its focus and try to change the general attitude towards money that he believes helped create division in the first place.
He warned the human race is in ‘perilous times’:
Such pressing issues will require us to collaborate, all of us, with a shared vision and cooperative endeavour to ensure that humanity can survive.
We will need to adapt, rethink, refocus and change some of our fundamental assumptions about what we mean by wealth, by possessions, by mine and yours.
Just like children, we will have to learn to share.
He ends by saying that if we fail to do this, the forces of envy and isolationism that contributed to Brexit, will strengthen.
If that were to happen, I would not be optimistic about the long-term outlook for our species.
If Stephen Hawking – one of the greatest minds of our time – is worried, it’s time to take notice.