Q. Your son Tim recently made mention of your CD
collection. Besides The Beatles, who else graces your turntable/CD
A. I mainly listen to classical music: Wagner, Brahms,
Mahler etc. but I like pop as well. What I want is music with character.
Q. We heard you attended a Depeche Mode concert -
what was your honest opinion? Do you attend many concerts? If so,
who else have you been to see?
A. It was a great concert, they had real energy.
I don't think many people would have expected to see me there but
I'm very glad I went, even though I was sitting just in front of
the speakers and my ears were ringing for the next 24 hours... I
try to make it to a pop concert every now and again. I have also
seen Pink Floyd and Tracy Chapman while I was in the USA. And Status
Quo...but I left after 20 minutes - they were terrible.
Q. Considering your connections with both institutions,
who do you support during the Oxford vs. Cambridge boat race?
A. Both! Either way I win!!
Q. In recent years, there's been much talk about
the possibilities of 'space tourism' in the near future. How do
you feel about this? Should we really be cluttering up our nearest
satellite with yet more Marriots, Ritz Carltons and - God forbid
- Travel Taverns?
A. I expect it will be possible to go to space and
even the moon but the resources required are so great it will only
be a handful that go. Space travel isn't a solution to the population
problem. Anyway, Earth is by far the nicest planet on the solar
system. Who wants to boil in sulphuric acid on Venus?
Q. If given the chance, would you want to go into
space in your lifetime?
A. :-) Definitely, if I were Bill Gates, I would
hire the space shuttle for a party!
Q. What did you think about the recent Channel 4
documentary 'The Real Stephen Hawking'? Can we infer from your minimal
participation that you didn't welcome the intrusion into your personal
A. I thought it was quite good but I would have
liked to have seen more space given to my colleagues. I think they
held back, under the impression that I was ambiguous about the whole
Q. Any plans to write more books or make another
A. I have a book out in the Autumn, entitled 'The
Universe In A Nutshell'. The idea will be to make astrophysics more
accessible by cutting down on the complicated terminology.
Q. Do you receive much opposition to your cosmic
theories from the more extreme elements of the Christian Right?
Perhaps you have a clever and concise reply to rebuke their insistance
that the universe is only a couple of thousand years old, or maybe
you find a simple "Oh, grow up" usually does the job?
A. I really haven't encountered the Christian Right.
I think they live in an insulated world of their own, shutting their
minds to science. If they took notice, they would have to oppose
every biologist and astronmer in the world. Apparently, someone's
taken the trouble of doing an impression of me doing a rap song
on this topic?!
Q. And finally - the burning question: the 7th planet
in our solar system, 'Yuri-ness' or 'Yer-anus'.
A. It's always been 'Yer-anus'.
To find out more about Professor Stephen Hawking
To hear MC Hawking's rap on creationism (and other