The British university library, where Hawking lived and worked, will be in charge of preserving his academic works
The rest of your office content will go to the Science Museum Group, which runs several museums in the UK
In addition to his academic works, the archive includes photographs or personal correspondence with figures such as Bill Clinton
The late scientist’s work Stephen Hawking – from articles on theoretical physics to scripts from ‘The Simpsons’ – and objects like their personalized wheelchairs will be preserved by the University of Cambridge (UK) and the Science Museum Group, as announced by the British Government.
Hawking, who was internationally acclaimed for his work on black holes, died in March 2018 at age 76, after a lifetime investigating the origins of the universe.
Between Cambridge and British museums
Under a dation in payment agreement – the legal figure that refers to the action of delivering an asset in exchange for paying an outstanding debt – announced this Wednesday, its vast archive of scientific and personal articles will go to Cambridge University Library, where he lived.
The rest of your office content will go to Science Museum Group, which manages several of the most relevant museums in the country. Some items, including their wheelchairs, medals and other memorabilia, will be kept in the organization’s private collection, while others will be on display at the London Science Museum in early 2022.
“It was really very important for him during his life that science be open to the largest possible number of people, and that it be democratized and not the exclusive domain of the elite,” he said. Tim, Hawking’s son, when the agreement is announced. “So I think this work will help, hopefully inspire, the next generation.”
Letters with the Clintons
Hawking rose to international fame with the publication in 1988 of ‘A Brief History of Time’, one of the few scientific books that has reached a mass audience. It has also been very present in popular culture, with its appearances in series such as ‘Star Trek: Next Generation’ or in ‘The Simpsons’, in cartoon form.
For one reason or another, the image of Hawking in his wheelchair was part of the collective imagination. The scientist suffered a degenerative disease of motor neurons Since he was 21 years old, he was confined to one of these devices for most of his life and used an electronic voice synthesizer to communicate.
Its 10,000 page archive contains photographs, documents and correspondence, including letters from former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary. “At that time, I knew that my father had cultivated a warm relationship with the Clintons and, because of his political orientation, he was always … I suppose he was much more in harmony with the Democratic presidents than with the Republicans,” he commented in Those Tim Hawking lines.
Thus, Hawking’s file joins those of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin in the Cambridge library. In fact, his ashes were buried in London’s Westminster Abbey, among the graves of these other references of British science.