Lucy Hawking is a British author and journalist. As well as two adult novels, she has written a series of children's adventure stories based on science with her father Professor Stephen Hawking. Translated into 38 languages, the George series of books has engaged many young readers with the complex world of science.
As an author, Lucy has toured the world, giving popular talks on physics, astronomy and cosmology to young audiences. She was an invited guest speaker at NASA’s 50th birthday celebrations where she gave a talk on engaging young people in science and education. Lucy is also the winner of the Sapio Prize for Popularizing Science 2008.
She has one son, William who has autistic spectrum disorder, and she takes an active role in supporting people with the condition. Lucy also has close links with the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the UK, particularly on issues to do with young people whose parents have developed MND. She has also worked with young carers who look after a parent with disabilities.
Author's Comment: What gave you the idea for George's Secret Key to the Universe?
I have a 9-year–old son and I thought it would be wonderful if my father and I could write something together that would explain my grandfather's work to my son. In order to explain physics to kids, we decided use the events in the story to illustrate concepts.
It was clear to me that there was a wealth of science fiction available for children but not very much “science fact.” Science fiction can be exciting and very gripping, but it doesn’t tell us anything about the universe in which we live. We wrote an adventure that is based on real science rather than on fantasy. I thought it was important to weave science into the story line because I wanted to make George’s Secret Key to the Universe appealing to children who wouldn’t otherwise pick up a book on physics. Obviously, we hope it will appeal to their parents, too!