Richard Dawkins Complains People Confusing Him with Stephen Hawking: 'Why Aren't You in Your Wheelchair?'

Emeritus fellow at the University of Oxford and renowned atheist author Richard Dawkins claims that a combination of similar last names and naive news producers has confused him for Stephen Hawking.

Hawking, the theoretical physicist and cosmologist author, died Wednesday at the age of 76. But Dawkins, who is currently 76, took to Twitter on Wednesday to voice his concerns about young journalists and scientists confusing the names of the two famous English scientists. And while Dawkins is a longtime professor at the University of Oxford, Hawking was born in the English city.

"Many excellent young science graduates would give their all for a job in television. So where did a leading TV company find the 'Editorial Producer' who just invited to me 'to talk to us about the life and legacy of your colleague Richard Hawkins'?" Dawkins tweeted Wednesday.

The very much alive evolutionary biologist and English ethologist also relayed a story in which Queen Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, presented an award to Hawking but combined their names and referred to him as "Professor Hawkins." 

Dawkins also claims that someone at a literary festival asked him why he wasn't in Hawking's iconic wheelchair. Professor Hawking was diagnosed with a rare form of motor neurone disease at the age of 22 and was only given a few years to live.

"Now another TV producer wants me to talk about 'the death of Professor Hawkins.' I heard Prince Philip make the same mistake when presenting Professor Hawking with a big medal. Once, after a talk at a Lit Fest, the first question I got was 'Why aren’t you in your wheelchair?'" Dawkins posted to Twitter Wednesday.

Hawking and Dawkins also became world-renowned authors, with Hawking's 1988 A Brief History of Time and Dawkins's 2006 The God Delusion setting the tone for modern conversations on cosmology and atheism, respectively. 

Several Twitter users responded with their own comedic responses to the confusion, using the moment to combine their book names and accomplishments. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-14 at 2 Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking confusion runs rampant among TV producers, the famous atheist claims. Screenshot: Twitter

The owner of the Amshold Group, a private holding company in the U.K., tweeted out his own condolences to "Stephen Hawkins" Wednesday.