Ashes of Stephen Hawking to be Kept at Westminster Abbey
The ashes of Professor Stephen Hawking will be interred at Westminster Abbey near the grave of Sir Isaac Newton during a thanksgiving service later this year, a spokesman for the abbey said.
The 76-year-old passed away “peacefully” at his home in Cambridge last week according to his family, after battling motor neurone disease for many decades.
Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster said in a statement, “It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those of distinguished fellow scientists.
Sir Isaac Newton was buried in the Abbey in 1727. Charles Darwin was buried beside Isaac Newton in 1882. Other famous scientists are buried or memorialised nearby, the most recent burials being those of atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940.
“We believe it to be vital that science and religion work together to seek to answer the great questions of the mystery of life and of the universe.”
Prof Hawking was one of the world’s finest scientific minds and was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in 1964 at the age of 22.
He eventually became confined to a wheelchair and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication.
Despite this, he continued to travel the world, giving lectures and writing scientific papers about the basic laws that govern the universe.
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