Hundreds of parents, friends, and colleagues gathered Saturday afternoon in Cambridge to bid farewell to British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking’s Funeral, whose scientific genius and physical disability had made him a world-renowned figure.
The funeral of this convinced atheist, which takes place in privacy, began around 2 pm local time in the St Mary the Great Church at Cambridge University (East of England), close to Gonville and Caius College where he worked for more than 50 years.
Hundreds of anonymous gathered around the church applauded the arrival of the coffin, worn by six members of the University of Cambridge and covered with lilies and white roses representing the universe and the Polaris star. The church bell rang 76 strokes, one for each of the years of the famous scientist’s life.
“The life and work of our father have meant so much to so many people, believers, and unbelievers alike. Thus, the service will be both inclusive and traditional, reflecting the scale and diversity of his life, “said his children, Lucy, Robert, and Tim, in a statement.
“Our father lived and worked in Cambridge for more than 50 years. […] It is for this reason that we decided to organize his funeral in the city he loved so much and who loved him in return, “they explained.
Celebrities at Stephen Hawking’s Funeral
Among the 500 or so guests at the ceremony were many celebrities, including Queen Brian May’s guitarist and wife actress Anita Dobson, British model Lily Cole and film producer Barbara Broccoli.
The British astrophysicist Martin Rees and the actor Eddie Redmayne, Oscar winner for having played the famous scientist in the movie The Theory of Everything in 2014, planned to read a text during the service, while funeral praise will be delivered by his son. Elder Robert and Professor Fay Dowker, one of his former students.
Stephen Hawking, known for his work on the universe, quietly died at home in Cambridge on March 14, sparking a shower of tributes rarely equaled for a scientist, from Queen Elizabeth II to former US President Barack Obama… while Stephen Hawking’s Funeral
Thousands of people have signed the book of condolences opened after the death of the scientist, who knew how to touch one who had managed to reach a very large audience through his popular work A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, published in 1988.
Appeared in the science fiction Star-Trek series, or in The Big Bang Theory, Stephen Hawking was a well-known public figure who even had his character in The Simpsons.
The astrophycisian had defied the predictions that he had only a few years to live after contracting a crippling neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Charcot’s disease, diagnosed in 1964.
The illness had progressively deprived him of his mobility and confined to a wheelchair. He was almost completely paralyzed and unable to speak except through his iconic voice synthesizer.
Alongside Newton – Stephen Hawking’s Funeral
But in this body distorted by the disease resided an extremely brilliant mind, fascinated by the essence of the Universe, by its process of formation and by the way in which it could end. His work focused on bringing together the theories of relativity and Qantas.
After the private funeral, a larger tribute will be paid to Stephen Hawking on June 15, when his ashes will be buried at Westminster Abbey in London, a tribute to the greatest, alongside another giant of science, Isaac Newton.
Westminster Abbey welcomes the remains of monarchs as well as famous men and women.
Born January 8, 1942, 300 years to the day after Galileo’s death, Stephen Hawking became, at the age of 32, one of the youngest members of the Royal Society, the most prestigious scientific institution in Great Britain. Britain.
In 1979, he was appointed the professor of mathematics – a position held by Newton – at the University of Cambridge, for which he had left Oxford University to study theoretical astronomy and cosmology.
Before the funeral, the Gonville and Caius College posted on their website new, unpublished black and white photos of the scientist, showing him sailing or playing croquet at a summer school for young astrophysicists in a castle in Sussex (southern England), at the age of 19, two years before the first symptoms of his illness. Comrades contacted by the institution remembered his leftist political ideas and mischief.