Hawking addresses Canadian think tank

June 21, 2010 at 2:54 PM
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WATERLOO, Ontario, June 21 (UPI) -- Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking received a welcome befitting a celebrity as he prepared to give a lecture at a Canadian think tank, observers say.

Lecture attendees -- Cabinet ministers, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and local politicians -- arrived Sunday by limousine, luxury cars and even a helicopter at Waterloo's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, The Globe and Mail reported.

Hawking, who suffers from a motor-neuron condition commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS, painstakingly operated the computer that creates a voice for his thoughts to deliver an address on his research, the newspaper said.

"We don't know why we can do it, but we know how to do it," Hawking said of efforts to understand the universe.

His lecture in front of 200 invited guests was broadcast on Canadian television Sunday evening, The Globe and Mail reported.

BlackBerry founder Michael Lazaridis created the Perimeter institute to study fundamental science questions regarding space, time and quantum physics, the newspaper said.

"I am hoping and expecting great things will happen here," Hawking said of the institute, citing a combination of brilliant people and an intellectual environment where "magical progress can happen."

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