For years, it has been a challenge to introduce science as fun and approachable. With challenging topics like cosmology and geosciences, most of us refrain from dealing with these complex issues.
Fortunately, Stephen Hawking has created a way to make science relatable to anyone. In his new six-part series on PBS, Genius by Stephen Hawking, the world-renowned scientist created practical ways to solve the biggest questions of our human race.
“I believe anyone can answer big questions for themselves.”
In the six-episode series, Hawking was able to introduce the concepts of the universe by answering six major questions: “Can we time travel?;” “Are we alone?”; “Why are we here?”; “Where did the universe come from?”; “What are we?”; and “Where are we?”
Genius by Stephen Hawking used different real-life applications to show the analogy of these scientific concepts. By applying the general laws of physics to the experiments, the participants were able to deduct the answers to these main questions.
In Episode 3 of Genius by Stephen Hawking, he challenged the participants to view the real-life applications of free will. The participants did an exercise to randomly select the time when they are going to click the button (trigger) within a specific time frame.
After testing the activity on the three applicants, the results show that whoever they are, irrelevant of gender and mood, they all had the same time selection for pushing the button (trigger).
The exercise surprised the attendees, for this somehow showed them that if everyone is just predetermined by the general choices we make, then we do not really have free will at all. We are all going to do the decisions we made before and everything is just predetermined by the laws of nature. If so, why do we exist?
Hawking then challenged the participants to yet another exercise which will pose a big contradiction to the initial result of the other test. In the final activity, Stephen Hawking showed that we might have the ability to choose, but since there should be different outcomes for the choices we make, it is a possibility that we might also have multiple alternate universes.
Genius by Stephen Hawking has been praised by the critics. Wall Street Journal wrote that what Stephen Hawking did in this series has been “noble.” Aside from making science a lot more “interesting” and “engaging,” Stephen Hawking was able to open up “ordinary people” to the major questions in life.
“Prof. Hawking hopes to illuminate, and one can imagine teachers replicating them (though on a smaller scale) in their own classrooms.”
GeekWire added that Stephen Hawking has created an avenue for “everyone” to be “exceptionally intelligent.”
“‘Genius’ is a refreshing idea for a television series, if not all altogether original. With networks such as Discovery and National Geographic Channel (which is airing the series internationally, thanks to National Geographic’s co-production of the series) presenting science-themed content on a regular basis, there’s no shortage of information on television that explores these concepts in some fashion.”
Comparing it to the big science shows on Discovery channel and National Geographic, Genius by Stephen Hawking actually made the leap by making the show a lot more interactive. Whereas its competitors only show a passive way of inducing science-related queries.
On top of that, Stephen Hawking is encouraging the viewers to solve the puzzles and activities themselves. He laid out the activities in such a way that the audience would have the similar path of discovery as the actual participants on the show.
Genius by Stephen Hawking is already available to watch online and on DVD.
[Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize Foundation]