Humans must urgently colonise new worlds, warns Professor Stephen Hawking

Leading scientist Professor Stephen Hawking warned today that the human race must urgently make plans to colonise other planets. Hawking, from Cambridge University, is linking up with rock music legends and Apollo astronauts to press home his apocalyptic message.

Hawking and co
Stephen Hawking, front, with, from left, Swiss astronaut Claude Nicollier, Nobel prize-winning neuroscientist Edvard Moser, Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega, and Starmus founder Garik Israelian. Picture credit: Steven Young

He unveiled the science-music collaboration yesterday in the eminent surroundings of the Royal Society in London. Professor Hawking said: “I am aware there is a good deal of speculation at the moment regarding my prediction of our time left on this Earth.

“I strongly believe we should start seeking out alternative planets for possible habitation. We are running out of space on Earth and we need to break through the technological limitations preventing us living elsewhere in the Universe.”

Professor Hawking promised to say more about his warning next month (June) at Starmus, a festival that will bring leading scientists, rock stars and other celebrities together at Trondheim, Norway.

Professor Hawking said: “I am not alone in this view and many of my colleagues will make further comments on this at Starmus next month.”

They will include Apollo moonwalkers Buzz Aldrin, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, first man to walk in space. Professor Brian Cox will join a line-up of 11 Nobel prizewinners, plus rock stars Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Rick Wakeman and Steve Vai.

Fly me into space, says Hawking

Professor Hawking, who suffers motor neurone disease and is confined to a wheelchair, believes that climate change will make most of Earth too hot to grow crops as the population expands.

Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon, will back him by calling for a colony to be swiftly established on Mars.

Leading watchmakers Omega are partnering with Starmus and have created special Speedmaster gold watches to award winners at the Stephen Hawking Medal Ceremony. The design was shown off today by Raynald Aeschlimann, president and CEO of Omega.

Starmus IV, hosted by Norwegian University of Science and Technology, will be held from 18 June to 23 June. Starmus, which has previously been held in the Canary Islands, is bound to be a spectacular event once again this year. For details and to buy tickets, visit www.starmus.com.


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By Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland has been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. He writes regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy, plus he has authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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