Professor Stephen Hawking on Trump, Corbyn, Brexit and Feminism

In an exclusive interview for Good Morning Britain Professor Stephen Hawking has shared his opinions on Trump, Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn and feminism.  

The physicist and cosmologist told Piers Morgan that Labour would not win a general election with Jeremy Corbyn as leader and that there should not be a hard Brexit. 

He said he feared he was no longer welcome in the United States and called for Trump to replace Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency. Professor Hawking also spoke about his dream of travelling to space, being a feminist and the mystery of true love. 

When Professor Hawking last appeared on Good Morning Britain [May 2016] he called Trump a demagogue. Asked what his thoughts were now Trump had become President, Hawking said: “Trump was elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalisation. His priority will be to satisfy this electorate who are neither liberal, nor that well-informed. We have already seen this in the promise to build a wall along the Mexican border.” 

Asked what he thought about the ‘global liberal hysteria’ in reaction to the Trump presidency, Hawking said: “The reaction to the election of Donald Trump may have been overdone, but it represents a definite swing to a right-wing, more authoritarian approach. There was reported to be a memo that government scientists must get White House approval for any announcements. A similar ruling in Canada had a chilling effect on science there. Everyday life in the United States continues much the same. I have many friends and colleagues there, and it is still a place I like and admire in many ways. I would like to visit again, and to talk to other scientists. But I fear that I may not be welcome.” 

Piers asked whether he had a message for President Trump that he could pass on. Professor Hawking said: “He should replace Scott Pruitt at the Environment Protection Agency. Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent. It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for his second term. God forbid.” 

On Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Professor Hawking said: “I don’t believe there will be much chance of Labour winning an election under him. It’s no good having the right principles if you never get in power. But I will continue to vote Labour, it is the party that matters.” 

When Piers asked how Brexit should work, Professor Hawking, who was opposed to leaving the EU, said: “If we must implement the referendum decision to leave the EU, it shouldn’t be a hard Brexit as the right-wing of the Conservative Party want. That would leave us isolated and inward-looking. Instead, we should retain as many links as possible with Europe and the rest of the world, particularly China.” 

Professor Hawking also spoke about gender equality and when Piers asked if he was a feminist, he said: “Yes. I have always supported women’s rights. I moved the admission of women to my college. The results were wholly good.” 

Piers asked whether he thought that since the five most powerful people in Britain were women [the Queen, Prime Minister Theresa May, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick] was it scientific proof of gender equality. 

Professor Hawking said: “It is not scientific proof of gender equality that is required, but general acceptance that women are at least the equals of men, or better. This is coming. If we factor in high-powered women in Europe as well, such as Angela Merkel, it seems we are witnessing a seismic shift for women to accede to high-level positions in politics and society.” 

Piers asked Professor Hawking whether he thought Artificial Intelligence would be the end of human life. Professor Hawking said: “Ever since the start of the Industrial Revolution there have been fears of mass unemployment as machines replaced humans, but there is a greater danger from Artificial Intelligence if we allow it to become self-designing, for then it can improve itself rapidly and we may lose control.” 

When asked if he knew the meaning of life, Professor Hawking said: “I have no idea. But I do remember when I was happiest. It was 1967, and the birth of my first child, Robert. My three children have brought me great joy. And I can tell you what will make me happy, to travel in space. I have already completed a zero gravity flight which allowed me to float, weightless. I thought no one would take me. But Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic, and I said yes immediately. Since that day, I have never changed my mind.” 

And on whether he had worked out the mystery of true love since he had solved the mystery of life, Professor Hawking said: “Thankfully, this is beyond human reasoning. And should remain so.” 

Piers asked Professor Hawking if he thought of himself as the world’s most intelligent human being, he responded: “I would never claim this. People who boast about their IQ are losers.” 

Piers asked Professor Hawking who he would choose if he was forced to live on a desert island with three other people for the rest of his life, Professor Hawking said: “I couldn’t survive with only three other people. When I went to Tenerife, which is the nearest I have been to a desert island, I had a care team of eight and a technical assistant. But if I were able-bodied, I would choose Marilyn Monroe, Einstein and Galileo.”  

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March 20, 2017 11:05am by ITV Press Centre  

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