Prof Hawking joined the growing rank of academics who refuse to endorse and engage with Israeli academic institutions till Israel respects worldwide law, ends its occupation and respects Palestinian human rights. For those in the business of education and advocacy in complicated and highly technical fields, perhaps it's this: Hawking, who died this week at 76, knew how to bring complex ideas down to earth. And the PSG star took to Twitter to post a picture of himself donning the boot whilst in a wheelchair, in an unsavoury tribute to Professor Hawking.
The British actor played the mathematical genius across decades of physical degeneration - all under Hawking's watchful gaze.
The Hawking Radiation Conference is co-sponsored by UNC-Chapel Hill, along with the Nordic Institute of Theoretical Physics (Nordita), co-hosted by KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University; the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge; and The Julian Swinger Foundation. I have also seen Pink Floyd and Tracy Chapman while I was in the United States of America.
But unlike most other patients, Hawking's lifespan was not over within two to five years.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also paid tribute to the physicist - who was a Labour supporter - and said he "inspired the world with his determination to explain the mysteries of the cosmos" and "showed breathtaking courage to overcome life's adversities". He may not have been the greatest physicist of all time and did not get the Nobel Prize. His mischievous sense of humour earned him a regular appearance in popular comedies such as the Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory, while his book, A Brief History in Time, which sold more than 10 million copies reached out to people who wanted to learn about the Universe but who were put off by the usual physics tomes.
Through it all, of course, his illness made his achievements near-superhuman. While this seems daunting and perhaps concerning, it also has inspired hundreds - if not thousands of physicists - to work in the hard area of quantum gravity, because the greatest rewards lie where the greatest problems are. It's no wonder why he would be a recurring guest on The Big Bang Theory, and it's no secret that he could make even a fictional genius like Sheldon look like a novice. Jane told the Radio Times in 2014 that Hawking's fame following the publication of "A Brief History of Time" placed an enormous strain on their relationship, describing some of her former husband's followers as "sycophantic". His finding that black holes slowly dissolve will probably be his greatest scientific legacy.
"There are many good theoretical physicists who make a big contribution, but there aren't that many greats", he added.
The Motor Neurone Disease Association said Prof Hawking "played a vital role" in raising awareness of the disease, which kills more than half of people within two years of diagnosis.