The first event the Victorian branch has put on this year, was a delightful screening of the Theory of Everything. While there have been a number of great science movies out over summer, the story of Stephen Hawking’s life, his relationships with his wife and his love of physics was the clear frontrunner. Eddie Redmayne is certainly deserving of his Oscar.
As this event was more social than career-oriented, it was a nice entre into the world of science communicators. As a newbie to ASC, I was encouraged by how welcoming everyone was. Who knew you were all such an open and enchanting bunch?
No ASC event is complete without a little scientific learning, so Chris Lassig was on hand to deliver a rundown about the significance of Hawking’s discoveries – both in his earlier years at Cambridge, and those outlined in Brief History of Time]. Theoretical physics is not something I’m well-versed in, so this came in handy to untangle the theories Hawking was talking about later in the movie. Chris did an excellent job, and if that wasn’t enough, he made ice cream to share as well!
The film surpassed my expectations. I’m not one who usually gets emotional about movies, but I was not alone in feeling a little fragile when we finally emerged from the theatre. After the movie, several of us discussed the intense, heartbreaking saga over pizza.
What I liked most about the movie, was the way that science pervaded Hawking’s entire life. Not only are Hawking’s phenomenal theories at the forefront, but so are the medical and technological feats which have made Hawking’s life so long and so manageable. Watching Stephen get the opportunity to ‘speak’ again and understanding the research and medical leaps that this must have taken, is as awe-inspiring as his theories. Along with his doting wife Jane, these technological leaps have allowed Hawking to be the voice of physics he is today.
I hope you’ll join us for our next event on Tuesday the 31st of March. Our very own Tom Lang is performing scientific comedy as part of the Melbourne International Comedy festival. ASC members and friends receive a discounted price but seats are limited.
Tessa Evans – ASC Vic branch committee member