Stephen Hawking dead at 76: Remembering Hawking’s Star Trek impact


Stephen Hawking appeared on Star Trek as himself. Think about that. One of the most influential minds in physics didn’t have to assume the role of a character.

Stephen Hawking passed away Wednesday at the age of 76. He slipped away peacefully at his home in Cambridge after a long and well-documented battle with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Despite deteriorating health and an inability to use his limbs, Hawking remained a dominant force in the world of physics.

In fact, Hawking’s work places him in the physics Pantheon of greats with Sir Isaasc Newton and Albert Einstein and, as a result, he earned a role by their sides in TNG episode “Descent.”

Welcome to the Holodeck

Hawking takes his place on the Holodeck along with Data, a stroppy Newton and Einstein. Data finds the interaction of the three great minds a stimulating event.

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TNG’s producers never planned on penning Hawking into the episode, but they took advantage of a divine opportunity. Hawking arrived on the set as a result of being in Los Angeles to promote his book “A Brief History of Time.” Executive producer Rick Berman immediately grasped the gravity of the situation and hastily penned a scene to incorporate Hawking.

For a full understanding of Stephen Hawking’s career, life and contribution to world of science, check his Wikipedia page.