Why hasn't Stephen Hawking been knighted?

The guy has done loads for physics (probably the best-know physicist amongst the general public), and was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics for 30 years until he retired from it in October. Have Elton John or Patrick Stewart contributed to the world as much as Hawking? I mean, Arts are important. But it seems (just from casually picking up the background noise) that singers and actors are getting all of the knighthoods. Shouldn’t Hawking be knighted for his contributions to Science?

Perhaps he’s already been offered an honour and refused.

My immediate thought was that perhaps they were waiting for him to die to award him that particular honour. Wikipedia suggests he got his CBE in 1982, so certainly enough time has passed for him to get something else.

This. He turned it down 10 years ago.


There’s a list of people who have declined honours on wikipedia.

Fine! If you’re going to turn it into GQ! :mad:

Thanks for the answer. I had not heard of that. (Though I do recall hearing something about him complaiing about funding.)

I guess there’s no debate.

So, its just not the way he rolls?

Did you know that he wouldn’t have been born in a country with socialized medicine? ZOMG! The thought gives me night sweats!

He’s something called a Companion of Honour, which actually carries more weight than a knighthood, because there’s no upward limit to knighthoods, while there can only be a finite number of Companions of Honour living at one time.

Maybe they mean titles of nobility. I just find it kind of funny that someone referred to as a professor has a problem with titles.

Go to your room.


Though I find it rather funny that that particular title sounds more like a polite title for favored prostitute than any other thing I can think of at the moment.

Of course he turned it down. Can you imagine him in a joust?

He’d look like coleslaw if someone tried to knight him. It would be a bloodbath.

Wouldn’t he have to kneel?

And slaying a dragon would be right out.

His disease did not start exhibiting signs until college. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Hawking#Illness

I think you may have missed the point–since R_W is referring to the right wing anti-health care reformers who argued that Steven Hawking “wouldn’t have had a chance” in a country with socialized healthcare–which would have viewed someone with his handicaps as “essentially worthless.” Perish the thought of losing such a scholar to socialism–Hawking should be so glad to not have lived in the UK for his entire life; he’s so much safer in England. :slight_smile:

I got that point, but the word ‘born’ made me think he ‘wouldn’t have had a chance’ even earlier. I took it to mean he would have been aborted if they detected his ALS in the womb.

Interesting that he’s refused a nighthood but accepted a different honour. I wonder what his reasons are?

No, thisis the quote:

That’s talking in the present, not about theoretical abortions.

I responded to this statement about the past:

To point out that Hawking was born seemingly healthy – a fact that not everyone knows about. That’s pretty much the only point I was making and it was meant as an aside.

If there is political hay being made out of socialized medicine and his illness, I’m not really interested.