Thomas Hertog is a cosmologist and long-time collaborator of Stephen Hawking. He received his doctorate from the University of Cambridge, joined the University of California at Santa Barbara as a research fellow in 2002 and became fellow at CERN, Geneva, in 2005. Currently Hertog is Professor at the Institute for Theoretical Physics of the KU Leuven in Belgium, where he studies the quantum nature of black holes and the big bang. He also leads Belgium’s participation in the European Space Agency’s flagship mission dedicated to the detection of gravitational waves – ripples of spacetime once predicted by Albert Einstein. Hertog has been guest professor at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara, visiting senior fellow at Trinity College in Cambridge, and affiliate member of the International Solvay Institutes for Physics in Brussels. His award-winning research has featured in distinguished media channels worldwide. Hertog is also an internationally acclaimed science communicator. He has curated several art-science exhibitions and is the author of On the Origin of Time: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory, in which he has advanced a fundamentally evolutionary conception of physics in the earliest stages of the universe. He lives with his wife and their four children in Bousval, Belgium.