The great physicist, Stephen Hawking, diagnosed with motor neuron disease at age 22 was given a few years to live, but he surprised the doctors and lived for another 54 years. And while he waited to die, he kept himself busy making his contribution to the world of science as he continued his work on the mysteries of space, time, and black holes capturing the imagination of millions.
His great work, specifically his 10,000-page archive, will join those of Newton and Charles Darwin at the Cambridge University’s library to be free for public viewing soon. Hawking’s desire was for us to “better understand our place in the universe.”
“This vast archive gives extraordinary insight into the evolution of Stephen’s scientific life, from childhood to research student, from disability activist to ground-breaking, world-renowned scientist,” said Jessica Gardner, the university’s librarian. It will “allow us to step inside Stephen’s mind and to travel with him round the cosmos.”
London’s Science Museum and the Cambridge University library announced they have acquired a large collection of items belonging to the late physicist, items such as his personalized wheelchairs to landmark papers on theoretical physics and even his scripts from his appearance on “The Simpsons.”
Hawking studied for his PhD at Cambridge and later became the university’s Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, the same post that Isaac Newton held from 1669 to 1702. He occupied the office at the university’s department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics from 2002 until shortly before his death in 2018. The entire contents of Hawking’s office at Cambridge will be preserved as part of the collection belonging to the Science Museum Group. Contents include his communications equipment, memorabilia, bets he made on scientific debates and office furniture. His paraphernalia will go on display at the London museum early next year. His vast archive of scientific and personal papers, including a first draft of his bestselling “A Brief History of Time” and his correspondence with leading scientists, will remain at Cambridge University’s library.
“My father would be so pleased and I think maybe at the same time, just a tiny bit overwhelmed that he was going to form part of the … history of science, that he was going to be alongside the great scientists, the people whose work he really admired,” Lucy Hawking said.
– BCNN1 Staff