Could you make Stephen Hawking's voice heard?

Posted by Kate Taylor

British physicist Stephen Hawking is looking for an assistant to travel the globe with him and help him communicate.

In a week or two's time, an official ad will appear inviting applications. In the meantime, there's a heads-up that the post is soon to become available here.

"It is not a PhD or Post-Doc position for academics looking to study physics, but a purely technical post to allow Prof. Hawking to function within the physics community and as a public speaker," the page explains.

The job will start in February, it says, and will involve around three months' travel a year. Indeed, organizing that travel for Hawking and his care team is a large part of the job.

The other main function is to help develop and maintain the professor's speech and communication systems - highly complicated, as the communication system connects to the internet via a cellphone connection, as well as hooking up to Hawking's home automation system.

Other responsibilities involve the maintenance of Hawking's wheelchairs and accessible van. There's even a bit of public relations work thrown in.

The job will pay £25,000 a year, funded by the University of Cambridge as a research post. It's nominally a 12-month contract, although previous post-holders have stayed for years.

The money may be on the low side for a position demanding technical, organisational and communication skills, but we suspect there'll be no shortage of applicants.