Part I Pre-reading Task
Listen to the recording1 two or three times and then think over the following questions:
1. Who is it about?
2. What questions interest him?
3. What makes his achievements so remarkable2?
The following words in the recording may be new to you:
Professor Hawking3 thinks it important to keep everybody in touch with what science is about. In this article he explains why.
PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARD SCIENCE
Whether we like it or not, the world we live in has changed a great deal in the last hundred years, and it is likely to change even more in the next hundred. Some people would like to stop these changes and go back to what they see as a purer and simpler age. But as history shows, the past was not that wonderful. It was not so bad for a privileged minority, though even they had to do without modern medicine, and childbirth was highly risky4 for women. But for the vast majority of the population, life was nasty, brutish, and short.
Anyway, even if one wanted to, one couldn't put the clock back to an earlier age. Knowledge and techniques can't just be forgotten. Nor can one prevent further advances in the future. Even if all government money for research were cut off (-and the present government is doing its best), the force of competition would still bring about advances in technology. Moreover, one cannot stop inquiri