smooth wombat writes "Stephen Hawking, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, has been awarded the Royal Society's 275th Copley medal for his contribution to cosmology and theoretical physics. Other notables to receive the award, established by Stephen Gray in 1731 'For his new Electrical Experiments', include Charles Darwin, Louis Pasteur and Albert Einstein. In his remarks, Professor Hawking reiterated his previous comments that man must colonize other planets. The medal presented to Professor Hawking was sent into space onboard Space Shuttle Discovery and spent some time on the International Space Station in July of this year. Hawking has expressed an interest in going into space and commented, 'My next goal is to go into space, maybe Richard Branson will help me.'"