BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC NEWS
 You are in: Sci/Tech
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 


Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

SERVICES 
Tuesday, 16 October, 2001, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Colonise space or die, says Hawking
Shuttle Atlantis lifts off, AP
Could this be our lifeboat?
Professor Stephen Hawking has told the Daily Telegraph that the human race faces the prospect of being wiped out by a virus of its own creation.

Professor Stephen Hawking, BBC
Professor Hawking: 'We will reach out to the stars'
"The danger is that either by accident or design, we create a virus that destroys us," he told the UK newspaper in an interview published on Tuesday.

"I don't think that the human race will survive the next thousand years, unless we spread into space.

"There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet," he said.

But Professor Hawking, Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge University, said that he was optimistic that humanity would manage to reach out to the stars.

Book extracts

Biology, rather than physics, he says, presents the biggest challenge to the survival of the human race.


Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab

Stephen Hawking
"Although 11 September was horrible, it didn't threaten the survival of the human race, like nuclear weapons do.

"In the long term, I am more worried about biology. Nuclear weapons need large facilities, but genetic engineering can be done in a small lab," he told the paper.

"You can't regulate every lab in the world," he said.

The paper is serialising extracts from Professor Hawking's new book, The Universe In A Nutshell.

Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories