Genius Stephen Hawking baffled by rise of 'demagogue' Donald Trump

British scientist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump © Toby Melville, Jonathan Ernst
Celebrated physicist Stephen Hawking has been left baffled by the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying he fails to understand the popularity of the “demagogue.”

The world-renowned physicist and author of ‘A Brief History of Time’ was scathing in his judgment of Trump.

Hawking told ITV’s ‘Good Morning Britain’ he couldn’t explain the rise of the billionaire property mogul.

He is a demagogue, who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” Hawking said.

The prospect of a Trump White House has put many on edge. Incumbent US President Barack Obama told reporters at last week’s G7 conference in Japan that world leaders “have good reason to be rattled” by remarks made by Trump.

In his interview, Hawking also declared his support for the ‘Remain’ campaign ahead of the June 23 EU referendum.

The Cambridge University professor said the EU is an important facilitator of scientific research.

There are two obvious reasons why we should stay in. The first is that it promotes the mobility of people. Students can come here from EU countries to study, and our students can go to other EU universities,” he said.

More importantly, at the level of research, the exchange of people enables skills to transfer more quickly, and brings new people with different ideas, derived from their different backgrounds.

The other reason is financial. The European Research Council has given large grants to UK institutions, either to foster research or to promote exchanges.”

Hawking went on to cite the impact Brexit would have on the UK’s international standing.

Gone are the days we could stand on our own, against the world. We need to be part of a larger group of nations, both for our security, and our trade,” he said.

The possibility of our leaving the EU has already led to a sharp fall in the pound, because the markets judge that it will damage our economy.”