Stephen Hawking: The Power of Ideas

Don't miss the 5-minute video on Stephen Hawking, along with a full-length panel discussion on the power of big ideas.

Where do big ideas come from? How do we spark them in our own lives? What can we learn from others, such as Stephen Hawking, who have helped advance our understanding through science? This special TVO broadcast, recorded at the grand opening of the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute, is available below and examines Professor Hawking's sizeable contributions to physics, his role in popularizing science, and his inspirational life story. Leading thinkers gathered to discuss his impact and how theoretical physics continues to drive new understanding that is vital to our future. And given Professor Hawking's birthday celebration - he turns 70 on Sunday, January 8, 2012 - this program continues to offer a timely tribute to his many important words and ideas.  

A Brief History of Stephen Hawking (5 min excerpt)


Full Broadcast of Stephen Hawking: The Power of Ideas (60 min)


More About the Broadcast

This special edition of Big Ideas on TVO is moderated by science communicator Ivan Semeniuk, Chief of Correspondents with NATURE, who navigates audiences through a mini-documentary, video clips, commentary and contributions from:

  • Stephen Hawking, with a message to "keep talking"
  • Neil Turok, Director of Perimeter Institute, cosmologist and TED Prize winner
  • Julie Payette, astronaut, systems engineer and Officer of the Order of Canada
  • Rebecca Sax, cognitive scientist at MIT, who's work touches on how the brain constructs abstract thoughts.
  • James Gates, Professor of Physics at the University of Maryland and member of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
  • David Foster, noted musician, composer, songwriter, producer and multi-Grammy Award winner
  • Rick Hanson, most famous for his Man in Motion World Tour, Canadian paralympian and author
  • William Shatner, well known actor and author, perhaps most famous for his culturally iconic portrayal of James T. Kirk

The program was recorded on September 17th, 2011, during grand opening activities of the new Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institute. "We are very pleased, along with our science communication partners at TVO, to share the mini-documentary and full program on line for all to enjoy." said John Matlock, Director of External Relations and Public Affairs at Perimeter Institute. "This special event not only provides an insightful look into the work of Stephen Hawking and the frontiers of new knowledge through physics, it also celebrates the potential of the human mind to realize new ideas, talents and creativity in shaping a better world."  

Further Exploration

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. Celebrating 40 years, TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit

About Perimeter Institute

Perimeter Institute is the world’s largest research hub devoted to theoretical physics. The independent Institute was founded in 1999 to foster breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of our universe, from the smallest particles to the entire cosmos. Research at Perimeter is motivated by the understanding that fundamental science advances human knowledge and catalyzes innovation, and that today’s theoretical physics is tomorrow’s technology. Located in the Region of Waterloo, the not-for-profit Institute is a unique public-private endeavour, including the Governments of Ontario and Canada, that enables cutting-edge research, trains the next generation of scientific pioneers, and shares the power of physics through award-winning educational outreach and public engagement.

For more information, contact:

Director of Communications & Media (On Leave)
519-569-7600 x4474