NEW YORK, NY, December 2008 ---- Despite being the most famous physicist in the
world—and one of our Discover 50 award winners—Hawking rarely appears before the
camera, in part because he is almost totally immobilized by ALS. Editor-in-chief Corey
S. Powell and noted photographer Mackenzie Stroh flew to England to capture Hawking
in his element in a Cambridge University math classroom.
“The most surprising thing was how expressive Hawking is. He didn’t need his
voice synthesizer to indicate ironic amusement at all the fuss, or weariness when the
shoot went on longer than he wanted; a roll of the eye or arch of the eyebrow conveyed
his meanings perfectly,” Powell says. “At the end of the shoot he reviewed the photos
and smiled approvingly. He clearly still gets a kick out of being a science superstar.”
The results show the master of black holes as he has never been seen before.
“Mackenzie returned with what could easily be the best portrait of a contemporary
Stephen Hawking,” says Rebecca Horne, DISCOVER’s photo editor. See for yourself
(attached is a PDF if the cover).
Stroh and Powell are available for interviews.