Not since Einstein has a scientific figure held such a place in popular consciousness. Leonard Mlodinow tells Robin Ince the story of his friend and collaborator, Stephen Hawking.
An icon of the last fifty years, Stephen Hawking seems to encapsulate genius.
In this episode of the How To Academy Podcast, Hawking’s colleague and collaborator Leonard Mlodinow offers an intimate account of this giant of science in conversation with comic and broadcaster Robin Ince.
The two met in 2003, after Stephen asked Leonard if he would consider writing a book with him. As they spent years working on A Briefer History of Time followed by The Grand Design, they forged a deep connection and Leonard gained a greater understanding of Stephen’s daily life and struggles — as well as his compassion and humour. Together they obsessed over the perfect sentence, debated the physics, and occasionally punted on Cambridge’s waterways with champagne and strawberries.
In time, Leonard was able to finish Stephen’s jokes, chide his sporadic mischief, and learn how the hardships of his illness helped forge that unique perspective on the universe.
Weaving together their shared story with a clear-sighted portrayal of Hawking’s scientific achievements, Mlodinow creates a beautiful portrait of Stephen Hawking as a brilliant, impish and generous man whose life was not only exceptional but also genuinely inspiring.