Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Stephen Hawking fears he ‘may not be welcome’ in Donald Trump’s America

‘I would like to visit [the US] again and talk to other scientists there. But I fear that I may not be welcome,’ the scientist says

May Bulman
Monday 20 March 2017 13:16 GMT
Stephen Hawking reveals how Trump can win a second term

Professor Stephen Hawking fears he “may not be welcome” in the US under the Trump administration.

The 75-year-old cosmologist and physicist said that while he still admires America, he doesn’t feel welcome there with Donald Trump in the White House.

He added that he would like to see the President do more to tackle global warming.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, Mr Hawking, who has previously called the US President, a “demagogue”, said: “Trump was elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalisation.

“His priority will be to satisfy his electorate who are neither liberal, nor that well-informed.

“I have many friends and colleagues there [in America], 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.”

Asked what message he would like Mr Morgan to relay to Mr Trump when he sees him, 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.”

Mr Pruitt’s appointment by Donald Trump was highly controversial given his track record of denying climate science.

Stephen Hawking cracks Brexit joke with Theresa May at Pride of Britain awards

The US Environmental Protection Agency recently wrote to correct him, after he claimed carbon dioxide was not the primary cause of global warming and claimed there was was “tremendous disagreement” over the issue.

Speaking on the topic of British politics in the same interview, Professor Hawking said there was not “much chance” of Labour winning an election under current leader Jeremy Corbyn, but added that he would continue to support the party.

“He doesn’t come across as a strong leader, and he allowed the media to portray him as a left-wing extremist, which he’s not,” he said. “It’s no good having the right principles if you never get in power. But I will continue to vote Labour – it’s the party that matters.”

Talking in a similar vein, the scientist said he was opposed to leaving the European Union, but that if the split must be implemented “it shouldn’t be a hard Brexit as the right wing of the Conservative Party want”, because it would leave Britain “isolated and inward-looking”.

He said: “We should retain as many links as possible with Europe and the rest of the world, particularly China.

“By remaining in the EU, we would have given ourselves more influence in the world. And we would provide future opportunities for young people. Leaving Europe threatens Britain’s status as a world leader in science and innovation.”

Professor Hawking was recently awarded Honorary Freedom of the City of London – the highest honour that the City can bestow – in honour of his outstanding contribution to theoretical physics.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in