That one time Stephen Hawking went for a carriage ride in Texas

Enlarge / Stephen Hawking speaks via satellite during the Science Channel portion of the 2010 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, California. (credit: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

I first met Stephen Hawking in March 2003, when the most famous scientist in the world visited Texas. For a young science reporter at the Houston Chronicle, an invitation to interview Hawking during a stop in College Station rated as a real coup.

Reporters never like to submit their questions to a subject in advance; indeed it is something I often refuse to do. However, with Hawking and his limited ability to communicate, this was a prerequisite. As almost all of his motor skills had atrophied, Hawking used a custom-made computer to form words, which were then spoken through a voice synthesizer. Typically, he could form a short sentence in about five to 10 minutes.

Prior to meeting with him, I asked a number of scientific questions of Hawking. But, after all of these years, the one query, and answer, that sticks with me concerned the hottest issue of the day, the impending Iraq conflict. What did he think about the likelihood of the United States going to war against Iraq?

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
That one time Stephen Hawking went for a carriage ride in Texas