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Read a short biography of Stephen Hawking. Then, in your notebook, substitute the symbols for the subheadings in the box in order to label the paragraphs. What facts about his life stood out for you? Respostas pessoais.

Contributions and Achievements / Early Life and Education / Personal Life


“Stephen Hawking is an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is widely considered to be one of the greatest scientists alive today. He is currently the director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology, University of Cambridge.

(A) ______ Early Life and Education

Born on 8 January 1942 to a biologist father, Hawking had two younger sisters. He was an average student at school, deeply interested in science. After winning a scholarship in natural sciences, he acquired a degree in physics from the University College, Oxford. Thereafter, Hawking also studied astronomy and cosmology at Trinity Hall, Cambridge.

(B) ______ Contributions and Achievements

In his early days at Cambridge, Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a motor neuron disease in which the nerves controlling the muscles become inactive while the sensory nerves function normally. […]

Hawking is known for furthering Einstein’s theory of general relativity with quantum theory. He has about twelve honorary degrees. Awarded the CBE in 1982, he became a Companion of Honor in 1989. He received numerous awards, medals and praises. Hawking is also a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. He was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. […]
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A highly successful active lecturer and author, Hawking makes use of an adaptive communication system known as Equalizer to combat ALS. It involves a speech synthesizer. Using the Equalizer, he has authored [two books] and several scientific papers and lectures, though he is capable of speaking at a mere rate of 15 words per minute.

Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time quickly became an instant best-seller and was translated into 30 languages. It has sold over 10 million copies worldwide to date. His 2001 book The Universe in a Nutshell is hailed as a masterpiece in the history of modern physics.

(C) ______ Personal Life

Stephen Hawking got married to Jane Wilde, a language student, in 1965, and together they have three children and one grandchild. The couple got separated in 1991. As of 2009, Hawking has been almost completely paralyzed.”

Available at . Accessed on January 21, 2016. Occasional linguistic adjustments to fit standard language marked with [ ]. Suppressions for pedagogical purposes (omission of excerpts with inadequate language level or advertising) marked with […].

5 Which paragraphs of the text contain the information below? Answer in your notebook.

a birth date 2

b nationality 1

c job 1, 5

d family 2, 7, 8

e education 2

f current activities 1, 5

g achievements 4, 5, 6

6 Now read this short biography of Stephanie Kwolek. What did you learn about this scientist? What facts about her life stood out for you?

Respostas pessoais. Professor/a, a menção à marca no texto se justifica de acordo com o Parecer CNE/CEB nº 15/2000, aprovado em 4 de julho de 2010, que diz que “o uso didático de imagens comerciais identificadas pode ser pertinente desde que faça parte de um contexto pedagógico mais amplo, conducente à apropriação crítica das múltiplas formas de linguagem presentes em nossa sociedade, submetido às determinações gerais da legislação nacional e às específicas da educação brasileira, com comparecimento módico e variado”. Mais informações podem ser obtidas no próprio Parecer, disponível em

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