On August 12th, 2009, President Obama awarded the Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian honor, to Stephen Hawking. “From his wheelchair he's led us on a journey to the farthest and strangest reaches of the cosmos,” said the President, “In so doing, he has stirred our imagination and shown us the power of the human spirit here on Earth.”
Today, on Professor Hawking’s 71st birthday, we’d like to share a never-before-seen video from his visit. Honored as an "agent of change," Hawking discusses the thrill of discovery and overcoming the challenge of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Watch the full video of the ceremony, and read Stephen Hawking's citation below:
Persistent in his pursuit of knowledge, Stephen Hawking has unlocked new pathways of discovery and inspired people around the world. He has dedicated his life to exploring the fundamental laws that govern the universe, and he has contributed to some of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time. His work has stirred the imagination of experts and lay persons alike. Living with a disability and possessing an uncommon ease of spirit, Stephen Hawking’s attitude and achievements inspire hope, intellectual curiosity, and respect for the tremendous power of science.