Along with the laughable Co-op document, something else that dropped through the letterbox this week was a newsletter containing a fulsome tribute to Stephen Hawking by his former tutor and long-time collaborator, cosmologist and first-rank mathematician Roger Penrose.
It makes for interesting reading (sorry, I haven’t found an online link - though he also wrote a straight obit in the Graun) and certainly contains glowing praise for Hawking’s determination, skills in maths and physics, insight, profundity and enjoyment of life.
But … away from the formalities of a national newspaper write-up, Physicist Penrose can’t help himself. In the newsletter - you have to smile - he goes on to set out how he reckons Hawking took a wrong turn in his work on black holes; how he was barking up the wrong tree when he ought to have stuck to the earlier conclusions he reached when they were working together; and how Penrose’s own alternative theory would have it.
Never let a good intellectual feud drop ... these academics, eh?