Stephen Hawking to retire as Cambridge's Professor of Mathematics next year

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London, Oct 24 : Stephen Hawking, renowned scientist, will retire as Cambridge University's Professor of Mathematics on October 1, 2009.

According to a report in the Telegraph, Hawking will continue his work as usual at Cambridge University as Emeritus Lucasian Professor at the university, an honorary title, after he vacates his position next year.

A spokeswoman explained it was University policy for professors to "pass the baton" in the year they reach the age of 67.

She said that Hawking's diary is already booked up to 2012.

"The post is retiring but Hawking isn't," the spokeswoman said. "Nothing will change. It is merely a formality," she added.

Hawking, 66, will have held the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics for 30 years at the time of his retirement.

Despite being almost completely paralyzed by motor neurone disease, Hawking became one of the world's leading experts on gravity, black holes, and the origins of the universe.

The applied mathematician and theoretical physicist also hit the headlines earlier this year when it was rumoured he could be set to leave Cambridge to join his colleague Professor Neil Turok at the Perimeter Institute in Ontario, Canada.

But, a university spokesman said Hawking had no plans to leave Cambridge University in the near future.

"Professor Stephen Hawking will retire from the Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, to which he was elected in 1979, on 30 September 2009. He will continue as an employee of the University under the title: Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics," he said.

"It is a condition of the Chair that the incumbent retire in the academic year in which they reach 67 years of age," he added.


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