Stephen Hawking was the most recognizable scientist in the world today. But how much of that was because of his ALS disease and being disabled and how much was deserved brilliance.
Notions of the big bang, black holes, and Hawking Radiation all came from Hawkings brain. But a lot of it isn’t really held very strongly in modern physics. The expanding universe reversed gave rise to the big bang, but could it be a misinterpretation of doppler shift and dark matter?
Hawking first argued that nothing escaped from a black hole, then later reversed his thinking.
Hawkings biggest value is getting more people interested in science and physics. And of course for kicking butt on the Simpsons. He may not have been very smart, but at least he inspired the look of the evil minion.