Celebrate Stephen Hawking’s 70th Birthday with Errol Morris’ Film, A Brief History of Time

Mike Springer, Open Culture, Jan 05, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Stephen Hawking's 70th birthday, to be celebrated this Sunday, is remarkable for several reasons. The most notable is that he is having it at all, after having being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, at the age of 21 which a physics student at Cambridge. But also, given two and a half years to live, Hawking was transformed from a bored unmotivated student at an elite university into one of the most celebrated scientists of our time. And small wonder he focused his energies on the study of time. This link is to Errol Morris’s 1992 film of A Brief History of Time, which can be viewed in its entirety online. People say this sort of resource does not support online learning. I'm not so sure. Films like this reach people. "This feeling of time, of aging, of mortality combined with this search for the most basic and deep questions about the world around us and ourselves," Morris said, "is pretty persuasive stuff."
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