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Professor Stephen Hawking commemorated

  • 14 March 2019

A year has gone by and the College still fondly remembers Professor Stephen Hawking, a Fellow of Gonville & Caius College for over 50 years.

In September, a memorial was laid outside the late scientist’s room in Caius Court. The words ‘Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet’ are engraved in the flagstone, along with Hawking’s famous equation of the entropy of a black hole. The memorial pays tribute to Hawking’s world-renowned scientific work, but also to his connection and contribution to Gonville & Caius College, which began two years after doctors had given him two years to live, following his diagnosis with motor neurone disease.  

Earlier this week, news of a commemorative coin was shared with the world. The new 50p coin features a big black hole, and the late Professor’s famous equation for ‘Hawking Entropy’ – the same equation that is engraved on the memorial in College. “One year on from Stephen's death it is good to see something positive: his life in science celebrated, in the same way other renowned scientists like Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin have been,” said Dr Pippa Rogerson, Master of Gonville & Caius College. 

Two specific funds have been set up, named for Professor Stephen Hawking. One provides bursaries for mathematics students at Caius, and a second, which is being built up with the intent of permanently endowing a lectureship at Gonville & Caius College in his name.

To the world, Professor Hawking was the brilliant theoretical physicist. To Students, Fellows and Staff at Gonville & Caius College, Professor Hawking was so much more; he was an inspirational friend and colleague.

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