What scientific questions does Mark Zuckerberg want answered? Stephen Hawking wants to know.
In a town hall-style Q&A session held Tuesday (June 30) on Zuckerberg's Facebook profile, the acclaimed British physicist asked the site's co-founder and CEO to share some of the "big questions in science" that he'd like to see answered. Hawking first stated what science-related question he'd like answered: Is there a unified theory of gravity and other forces? (See, nothing too complicated!) Then he turned the question around on Zuckerberg.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the co-founder of the world's largest social networking site didn't seem as interested as Hawking in solving the problems of quantum physics. Zuckerberg replied by saying that what really interests him are "questions about people." [Top 10 Golden Rules of Facebook]
Specifically, he said he'd like answers to the following questions: "What will enable us to live forever? How do we cure all diseases? How does the brain work? How does learning work and how [can] we empower humans to learn a million times more?"
But that's not all Zuckerberg wants to know. He also said that he is "curious about whether there is a fundamental mathematical law underlying human social relationships that governs the balance of who and what we all care about."
Of course, none of the questions posed by Zuckerberg (or Hawking) have easy answers. In fact, they might not have answers at all. But there were a few other science-related queries put forth at yesterday's Facebook town hall that do have easy answers.
One of these questions was posed by former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who, if you recall, is also a former cyborg assassin (at least in the "Terminator" movie franchise). His question: Will the machines win?
The Facebook founder didn't miss a beat in answering. No, the machines don't win, according to Zuckerberg.
The full Q&A can be read on Facebook.
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Elizabeth is a former Live Science associate editor and current director of audience development at the Chamber of Commerce. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from George Washington University. Elizabeth has traveled throughout the Americas, studying political systems and indigenous cultures and teaching English to students of all ages.