After almost 50 years at Cambridge University the leading physicist Stephen Hawking, 66, is considering leaving Britain and move to Canada. He attacked the British government for carrying out "disastrous" cuts in science funding totalling $160 million.
Last month, Hawking said the funding cuts would "cause enormous damage both to British science and to our international reputation." He is now said to be contemplating an offer to join a fellow academic who is leaving Cambridge this autumn to lead a well-funded Canadian science institute. Neil Turok, an authority on mathematical physics, said "the door is open" for Hawking to join him permanently at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ont., which has received $600 million in funding.
Turok decided to leave Cambridge after failing to persuade university authorities, research councils and sponsors to spend $40 million expanding the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, which he heads, into a Hawking Institute.
That was the rumor; but Hawking's office said that Hawking had no plans to leave Britain permanently.
A spokesman was quoted as saying that hawking "is not joining the brain drain".
The University of Cambridge has poured cold water on reports its most famous physicist might be coming to Canada to work, saying Wednesday Stephen Hawking "has no plans" to leave. (CBC)