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Stephen Hawking has sent a message from 'beyond the grave', warning the world about threats to science and education.
At the launch event for his posthumously released final book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, a message was played that the scientist had recorded prior to his death in March.
In the recording, the late cosmologist said education and science were 'in danger now more than ever before' and that experts were not being respected.
"We are ... in danger of becoming culturally isolated and insular and increasingly remote from where progress is being made," he said.
"What lies ahead for those who are young now? I can say with confidence that their future will depend more on science and technology than any previous generations has done."
He also urged young people "to look up at the stars and not down at your feet ... And wonder about what makes the universe exist."
Hawking continued: "It matters that you don't give up. Unleash your imagination. Shape the future."
Along with his warnings, he said Donald Trump's US presidency and Britain's vote to leave the European Union were part of 'a global revolt against experts', adding: "That includes scientists."
He also recognised that science is yet to overcome some pretty major challenges - including climate change, overpopulation, species going extinct, destruction to forests and the death of the oceans.
Hawking's daughter Lucy attended the book launch and said said hearing her father's 'unmistakable voice' had been 'very emotional'.
"I turned away, because I had tears forming in my eyes," she said. "I feel sometimes like he's still here because we talk about him and we hear his voice and we see images of him, and then we have the reminder that he's left us. We think he would have been very honoured to take his place in history."
Professor Hawking lived with motor neurone disease - a condition that left him paralysed and only able to communicate through a voice-generating computer - for decades, even after he had only been given a few years to live in his twenties.
He was renowned around the world for his incredible genius but also for his self-effacing sense of humour, even appearing as himself on The Simpsons, which increased his immense popularity and respect.
After he beat the ods to live to the age of 76, Hawking's family said the physicist had 'passed away peacefully' in his Cambridge home.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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