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Chinese netizens grieve over Stephen Hawking’s death

(People's Daily Online)    13:40, March 14, 2018

Chinese internet users on Wednesday lamented the death of Stephen Hawking, calling it a great loss for the science community.

According to an official statement from Hawking’s family, the science genius died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 75 on Wednesday. The hashtag “HawkingDeath” amassed around 100 million page views on Sina Weibo within an hour, with over 100,000 comments mourning the global scientific community’s great loss. It is the second most searched hashtag on Weibo as of press time.

Hawking’s official Sina Weibo page, which was launched in 2016, has been inundated with condolences. His last post was a video response to famous Chinese singer Wang Junkai in November 2017, in which he answered the young singer’s question about humankind’s destiny.

“It has granted me insight into Chinese Millennials on their thoughts and curiosities regarding the future. It is this curiosity and confidence I hope to see grow as you pursue science and other creative ideas, and which will be celebrated in the Tencent Next Idea Innovation Contest. Let’s look to the future together,” said the scientist in the video post.

“One of the greatest scientists of our time has passed away. Despite the horrible disease that tormented his body and mind, Hawking showed the world the value of hard work and persistence. We will always remember him,” wrote a netizen.

Hawking was the best-known theoretical physicist of his time. He lucidly described the mysteries of space, time, and black holes in his book, “A Brief History of Time,” which became an international bestseller, making him one of science’s biggest celebrities since Albert Einstein.

Even though Hawking battled motor neurone disease since he was 21, he stunned doctors by living with the fatal illness for more than 50 years.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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