Stephen Hawking Receives Copley Medal
Professor Stephen Hawking ireceived the world's oldest award for scientific achievement - the Royal Society's prestigious Copley medal - for his outstanding contribution to theoretical physics and theoretical cosmology on Nov. 30, 2006.
In recognition of Professor Hawking's work in cosmology, British-born astronaut Piers Sellers carried the medal with him on the STS-121 space shuttle mission to the International Space Station.
First awarded by the Royal Society in 1731, the Copley medal pre-dates the Nobel Prize by 170 years. It is awarded for outstanding achievements in scientific research and during its 275 year history, has been awarded to such scientific luminaries as Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein and Louis Pasteur.
Professor Hawking said: "This is a very distinguished medal. It was awarded to Darwin, Einstein and Crick. I am honoured to be in their company."
Stephen Hawking is the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. His work has been essential in understanding and classifying black holes. He also authored four popular-science books including "A Brief History of Time" and "The Universe in a Nutshell."
The medal was awarded to Professor Hawking at the Society's annual Anniversary Day, commemorating its founding in 1660.
For more information on the award and Administrator Griffin's speech before the Royal Society, visit Stephen Hawking Receives Medal Flown on Space Shuttle.
Image credit: The Royal Society