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Lucy Hawking

speaker location icon London, UK

Influential populariser of science

Best-selling author, story-teller and passionate speaker on the value of diversity

Daughter of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking

Author Lucy Hawking makes science accessible and entertaining to young readers through her ‘George’ book series of fantasy adventure novels based on real science. Written in collaboration with world-leading scientists including her father, the late Professor Stephen Hawking, the George series is published in over 40 languages, including Zulu and Xhosa. The final book of the series, ‘Unlocking the Universe’ a compilation of the science content from the whole series with some outstanding new essays added, was published in January 2020 by Penguin Random House Children’s Book and has been a number one best seller.

In 2015, Lucy created the Principia Space Diary with Curved House Kids for the UK Space agency. Principia Space Diary represents an innovative educational concept for primary students which allowed them to write their own book about astronaut Tim Peake’s mission to the ISS. Principia Space Diary was shortlisted in 2017 for the Arthur C Clarke award for education and outreach. With the same team, Lucy created the Mars Diary for primary age school children, published in 2018, also shortlisted for an Arthur C Clarke award. On July 20th, 2019, as part of the musical and theatrical troupe, The Lunatic Fringe, Lucy wrote and performed a critically acclaimed tribute to the Apollo Moon Landings at the Petworth Festival called ‘Fly Me to the Moon.’

As well as editing the text for her father’s final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, Lucy wrote the Afterword for the posthumous book and recorded the audio version for Audible and Radio 4. Lucy has also made documentaries for BBC Radio 4 about the impact of technology on different aspects of human life. She is currently working on a series of podcasts for Audible.

In 2008, Lucy won the Sappio Prize for Popularizing Science and in 2015, the UNSW medal for Outstanding Science Communication.  In July 2015, Lucy was awarded an honorary doctorate in science by Queen Mary University London for her work in STEM education. In 2017, Lucy was a judge on the Royal Society’s Young Science Book of the year and is a regular judge for the Breakthrough Junior Challenge in Palo Alto, USA.

With the Guardian Media Group, Lucy made a virtual reality film, The Party, about an autistic teenage girl. The Party was nominated for an award in the ‘social impact’ category at the annual VR Awards 2018 and received huge critical acclaim for its realistic and authentic depiction of the life of a teenage girl with autism. Lucy is currently working with Atlantic Productions on a virtual reality experience based on black hole theory.

Lucy is Chairperson of the Stephen Hawking Foundation.

*Photograph credit to A Micu.

Our Comment

"Lucy is a brilliant storyteller. She talks about how to make science accessible; the creative side of science and how it can spur imagination; and offers unique reflections of the extraordinary life of her father, Stephen Hawking. Lucy is also an inspirational speaker on the value of diversity in business. In 2015, she gave two talks at Sydney Opera House, introducing her father as a live 3D hologram, the first time this technology has been used for such a lengthy large-scale live event."

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