Cambridge, UK — Acclaimed scientist and author Stephen Hawking expressed his concern over how students with disabilities like his may no longer receive the kind of support he was given during his struggling years.
Speaking at an event to celebrate his 50th year of fellowship at the University of Cambridge’s Gonville and Caius college, the world-renowned academic said he feared that academics with serious disabilities may not be given the same generosity he enjoyed during the time he needed them. The 73-year-old physicist told:
“I wonder whether a young ambitious academic, with my kind of severe condition now, would find the same generosity and support in much of higher education.
“Even with the best goodwill, would the money still be there? I fear not.”
Mr. Hawking chose not to elaborate on his statement, but the famous scientist has already once voiced his concern over how the British government’s grant cuts can harm the country’s ranking in the international scientific community. He once told:
“These grants are the lifeblood of our research effort; cutting them will hurt young researchers and cause enormous damage both to British science and to our international reputation.”
But college headmaster for the University of Cambridge Caius College Alan Fersht guaranteed that academics in need of help will still be given the same helping hand. He said:
“Stephen questioned whether a young academic in his condition would get the same level of support today.
“For Caius at least, I can say emphatically ‘yes’. The fellowship is a family, just as our students, our staff and our alumni are all parts of the Caian family.”
“In 1965, none of us dreamt that we would be here, 50 years on, to celebrate this day. I say none, but I suspect I actually mean ‘all, but one’.”
Source: The Guardian website: Stephen Hawking: money not there for students with my kind of condition