Remembering Stephen Hawking

 

Sir, – Thank you for the excellent coverage of the life and science of Stephen Hawking in The Irish Times (News, March 15th). Few could question Hawking’s brilliant contributions to physics, or his outstanding contribution to the public awareness of science. His legacy also includes the presence of many brilliant young physicists at the University of Cambridge today. It is sobering to think that, had Prof Hawking lived in Ireland, he would have found it very difficult to acquire government funding for his work. Indeed, he would have found that his research into the workings of the universe did not qualify as one of the “strategic research areas” identified by our national funding body, Science Foundation Ireland. Perhaps this is a good moment for Irish politicians and civil servants to reflect on the purpose and nature of scientific research.– Yours, etc,

CORMAC

O’RAIFEARTAIGH,

Dunmore East,

Co Waterford.