Dr. Stephen Hawking is brought onstage by a helper to give his presentation, "The Origin of the Universe," at Caltech on April 16, 2013.
CREDIT: Rod Pyle/SPACE.com

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking has decided to pull out of a major Israeli conference slated for June 18-20 in Jerusalem, stating his support of an academic boycott of the country, according to news reports.

"This is his independent decision to respect the boycott, based upon his knowledge of Palestine, and on the unanimous advice of his own academic contacts there," reads a statement by the British Committee for the Universities of Palestine (BRICUP), which is an organization of U.K.-based academics set up in response to the Palestinian Call for Academic Boycott.

(That statement was approved by Hawking, according to BBC News.)


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