Stephen Hawking among the scientists at Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Stephen Hawking, a renowned British physicist and self-declared atheist, was among those the Pope addressed this week.

Hawking and other scientists were attending the Pontifical Academy of Sciences symposium.

The symposium focused on scientific knowledge and technology’s impact on people and the planet.

Although Pope Francis and Hawking have opposing religious beliefs, they connect with their concern for the environment.

The Pope praised his brilliant work.

Francis also had praise for the science community for collaborating with religious leaders in stopping climate change.

“It falls to scientists, who work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model …

“[The model must be able to] face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences, so that the vast potential of productivity will not be reserved only for the few,” he said.

He also asked the scientists to find ways protect the environment.

Francis highlighted the need to use their imaginations to create solutions.

He also stressed the urgency of the work to protect the planet.

He hopes scientists will create a “normative system” (ie ideal standard or model) to protect ecosystems. This system will include strictly maintained benchmarks.

He urged them to cooperate to produce this work “before harm is caused to environment and worse, to the societies of the world”.

Humanity does not own God’s gift of creation and has no right to pillage it, he said.

“We are not custodians of a museum and its masterpieces that we have to dust off every morning, but rather collaborators in the conservation and development of the existence and biodiversity of the planet and human life,” he added.

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News category: World.

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