Stephen Hawking might be one of the most brilliant and highly respected scientists in the world, but that means nothing in Donald Trump’s America. In fact, that sort of thing is a liability, and that’s why Hawking has no plans on visiting for the next few years.
After receiving the US Franklin medal for science and receiving the presidential medal of freedom from President Obama in 2009, Hawking fears the country’s “definite swing to a right-wing more authoritarian approach.” He also fears that he wouldn’t be welcome here anymore.
“I would like to visit again and to talk to other scientists, but I fear that I may not be welcome,” he said in an interview with Good Morning Britain on Monday.
Source: The Guardian
Naturally, Trump’s denial and inaction toward the biggest crisis to hit our planet, manmade climate change, is at the forefront of Hawking’s mind.
“He should replace Scott Pruitt at the Environment Protection Agency,” he said. “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent. It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for his second term. God forbid.”
As a citizen of the U.K., which recently voted to leave the European Union for reasons very similar to the impetus behind Trump’s election, he understands the feeling of being left behind and the fear of globalism, but he doesn’t respect it.
“Trump was elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalisation,” he told ITV1’s breakfast programme. “His priority will be to satisfy his electorate, who are neither liberal nor that well informed.”
Here’s the video:
Hawking has reasons to be afraid. Trump’s cabinet picks and budget are about as hostile to the scientific community as they can be, but we desperately need people like Hawking to stand up to Trump and to the ignorant masses who elected him. Universities, smart cities and smart rich people, please invite Hawking. The majority of the country doesn’t agree with Trump. He will have a warm embrace, although not from our government.
Featured image via Bryan Bedder