Stephen Hawking appeared as a hologram before an audience of hundreds in Hong Kong on Friday (24 March) as he discussed the possible existence of alien life on other planets, his life and career, Brexit and US President Trump, according to reports.
"Can you hear me?" Hawking asked the audience. "Yes!" came the enthusiastic response from the hundreds of people at the Hong Kong Science Park, who eagerly cheered and clicked pictures as the cosmologist spoke about politics and the future of science and technology.
The renowned British physicist said the election of Trump was one among a series of "right wing successes" that is likely to have grave implications for the future of scientific innovation and discovery, AFP reported.
"With Brexit and Trump... we are witnessing a global revolt against experts," he said. He added that the global swing to the right comes at a time when the world faces numerous environmental crises from global warming to deforestation.
"The answers to these problems will come from science and technology," he said.
The event was organised by the Chinese gaming company NetDragon Websoft, in collaboration with ARHT Media, which creates digital human holograms of celebrities.
During the speech, which lasted over an hour, Hawking also spoke about his early life and career, recounting how he nearly lost confidence in life after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neurone disease that left him paralysed and only able to communicate through a computer speech synthesiser.
However, he said he regained interest in pursuing his research after he met his future wife. "If I want to get married, I need to finish my Ph D and get a job," Hawking said, the Global Times reported.