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Lucy Hawking

lucy hawking, lucy hawking books
Catherine Lucy Hawking[1] born 2 November 1970[2] is an English journalist, novelist, educator, and philanthropist[3] She is the daughter of the theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and writer Jane Wilde Hawking She lives in London,[4] and is best known as a children's novelist and science educator


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Awards and recognition
  • 4 Philanthropy
  • 5 Personal life
  • 6 References

Early life

Lucy Hawking was born in England to scientist Stephen Hawking and author Jane Wilde Hawking She has two brothers, Robert and Timothy Hawking, and was raised in Cambridge after a few years spent in Pasadena, California as a child As a young adult she was a caretaker for her father as his health declined due to motor neurone disease[5]

Hawking studied French and Russian at the University of Oxford During university, she spent time in Moscow to focus on her Russian studies After completing her degree, she studied international journalism at City, University of London There she decided not to make a career of journalism, though she found it to be good writing practice, and a way to get into the writing profession[6]


After university Hawking spent a bit of time working as a journalist[7] She wrote for New York magazine, the Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times, the London Evening Standard,[8] and The Guardian[9] She also worked as a radio journalist[4]

Lucy and Stephen Hawking with US President Barack Obama in 2009

Hawking aspired to become an author Her first two novels were Jaded 2004 and Run for Your Life 2005 also published as The Accidental Marathon A few years after these books she transitioned to children's literature, and in 2007 she published George's Secret Key to the Universe, an adventure story about a small boy called George who finds a way to slip through a computer generated portal and travel around the solar system This book was written with her father, Stephen Hawking, and his former PhD student, Christophe Galfard It has been translated into 38 languages and published in 43 countries Four other books have been published in the series: George's Cosmic Treasure Hunt in 2009, George and the Big Bang in 2011,[10] George and the Unbreakable Code in 2014,[11] and George and the Blue Moon in 2016

In 2015, Hawking and British publisher Curved House Kids were awarded funding from the UK Space Agency to produce an education project as part of astronaut Tim Peake's education outreach[12] The result was Principia Space Diary, developed with Kristen Harrison at Curved House Kids with expert input from Professor Peter MacOwan at Queen Mary University of London It reached over 60,000 students in the UK[13] and was nominated for a Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Excellence in Space Education by the British Interplanetary Society[14]

All of Hawking's books and articles centre around the theme of teaching science and education to children She took interest in this topic after witnessing one of her son's friends ask her father about black holes at a party He responded by telling him he'd "turn into spaghetti," and the boy was delighted with that answer This experience shaped her perspective on using methods of entertainment, such as children's literature and adventure films, to engage the new generation on "post-truth" politics and scientific understandings[15]

Awards and recognition

In April 2008, Hawking participated in NASA’s 50th birthday lecture series, contributing a talk on children and science education Based on her experiences in touring worldwide with George's Secret Key and giving talks on physics and astronomy to children, her lecture highlighted the need to engage children in science at an early age[16] A few months later, she was a recipient of a Sapio Prize—an Italian award dedicated to innovative researchers—for popularizing science worldwide[17]

In 2010, Arizona State University appointed Hawking writer-in-residence of its 2011 Origins Project[18]

In 2013, Hawking spoke at the BrainSTEM: Your Future is Now festival at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada[19]

In March 2017, Hawking was invited to speak at the Emirates Airline Festival in Dubai[20] In June, Hawking was recognized at the Amsterdam News Educational Foundation, which honoured her and two other women rising in the field of science[21]


Hawking is vice president of the National Star College, an institution dedicated to allowing people with disabilities to realize their potential through personalized learning, transition and lifestyle services,[22] a foundation which provides care and education for young adults with complex and multiple disabilities She is also a trustee of the Autism Research Trust[23]

Personal life

Hawking married Alex Mackenzie Smith in 1998[5] The couple divorced in 2004[24] She has a son William b 1997 Diagnosed with autism, he has been an inspiration to her in her support for people on the autistic spectrum[9]


  1. ^ "Catherine Lucy Hawking, Author from Leeds" checkdirectorcouk 
  2. ^ Larsen, Kristine 2005 Stephen Hawking: A Biography Greenwood Publishing Group p xv ISBN 0-313-32392-5 Retrieved 9 June 2008 
  3. ^ "Stephen Hawking, NNDB" wwwnndbcom 
  4. ^ a b "Lucy Hawking" wwwfischerverlagede Archived from the original on 2007-09-27 
  5. ^ a b Grice, Elizabeth "'Dad's important, but we matter, too'" The Telegraph Retrieved 20 February 2017 
  6. ^ Sale, Jonathan 30 April 2009 "Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Lucy Hawking, science writer" The Independent Retrieved 8 February 2015 
  7. ^ "Shadowland" The Age Melbourne 21 April 2004 
  8. ^ "ARC Staff; Lucy Hawking" wwwautismresearchcentrecom 
  9. ^ a b "Profile - Lucy Hawking" The Guardian Retrieved 8 August 2015 
  10. ^ "Stephen Hawking's Bedtime Stories" New Scientist 18 March 2009 Retrieved 18 September 2013 
  11. ^ "George And The Unbreakable Code" NPR 
  12. ^ "UK Space Agency brings astronaut's mission to children across UK - GOVUK" wwwgovuk 
  13. ^ "Space diary fires up primary school children's imagination" wwwqmulacuk 
  14. ^ "The Sir Arthur Clarke Centenary Awards Finalists Announced" wwwbis-spacecom 
  15. ^ Clarke, Patricia "Lucy Hawking: how to teach science in a post-fact world" Vision Retrieved 31 July 2017 
  16. ^ "NASA Lecture Series" NASA Retrieved 20 February 2017 
  17. ^ Murray, Linda "Lucy Hawking" PDF Scottish Book Trust Retrieved 20 February 2017 
  18. ^ "ASU Origins Project" USA: Arizona State University 
  19. ^ "Perimeter Institute Announces BrainSTEM: Your Future is Now Festival Schedule" wwwprwebcom/ prwebcom 8 February 2013 Retrieved 8 February 2015 
  20. ^ D’Cunha, Suparna Dutt "Lucy Hawking shoots for the stars in Dubai" Friday Magazine Retrieved 31 July 2017 
  21. ^ AmNews Staff Reports "The Amsterdam News hosts educational luncheon at Plaza" Amsterdam News Retrieved 31 July 2017 
  22. ^ Staff "National Star College - Board of Governors" National Star College Retrieved 18 September 2013 
  23. ^ "Trustees" Autism Research Trust 
  24. ^ Saner, Emine "Lucy Hawking's fears" Evening Standard Retrieved 20 February 2017 

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