Stephen Hawking Seeking Assistant
Employee would maintain electronic speech system
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2011 11:12 AM CST
British scientist Stephen Hawking gives a lecture at KU Leuven university, on October 25, 2011 in Leuven.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Looking for a new gig? If you're not intimidated by the idea of being interviewed by Stephen Hawking, we have a job opportunity for you: Help the esteemed British physicist to develop and maintain the electronic speech system that allows his voice to be heard. The assistant position will pay about $38,500 per year, according to a posting on Hawking's website. Candidates must be able to work with computers, travel, and fix electronic devices without an instruction manual, the AP notes.

Hawking has been almost entirely paralyzed by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and lost his voice in a 1985 tracheotomy. His wheelchair-mounted synthesizer interprets his facial twitches in order to produce his "voice" now. The complex machine also connects to the Internet and allows Hawking to open doors or turn on lights or the TV. The online ad features a picture of the machine, and simply says, "Could you maintain this? If your answer is 'yes,' we'd like to hear from you!"