After 50 years, eminent physicist Stephen Hawking is planning to leave the Cambridge University over the British Government’s cuts in science spending, a media report said.
The author of best-selling A Brief History of Time, who began work in Cambridge in 1962, is frustrated with the falling university budgets that he believes are scuppering scientific discoveries, the Daily Mail reported.
Prof. Hawking is to spend two months at the Perimeter Institute, in Ontario, this summer and, if all goes to plan, hopes to make the move permanent, the report said.
Britain recently announced cuts to higher education amounting to £1 billion over three years.
And, according to the 68-year-old Prof. Hawking, almost completely paralysed by motor neuron disease, restrictions in grants mean scientific research in Britain is now increasingly focused on its industrial application rather than the pursuit of knowledge and discovery.
Even his spokesman said that Prof. Hawking, who has “remained heavily critical of the British government’s policy on science funding”, claiming it risked ending the nation’s history of world-class thinkers.
“Professor Hawking is considering a move but it would depend on whether his trip to the institute is successful,” his graduate assistant Sam Blackburn was quoted by the British newspaper as saying.
However, a spokesman for Cambridge University said: “Professor Hawking has no plans to leave Cambridge at present. However, he’ll be a regular visitor to the Perimeter Institute for research purposes.”