Councillor Lewis Herbert, the Leader of Cambridge City Council, has said he is delighted that councillors gave unanimous support to a motion brought by Labour Councillors Peter Roberts and Peter Sarris at the Full Council meeting on Thursday 19 April to consider a lasting public tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking who died on 14 March 2018. The council will now work with the Hawking family, Gonville and Caius, his department and the University of Cambridge as well as engaging with Cambridge residents to ensure the widest support for the scheme.
Councillor Herbert said: “”I am delighted that the motion met with unanimous support from all members of the City Council. Professor Hawking loved his adopted city of Cambridge and his colleagues and our community loved him too. It is right that, as his local council , we will now work in partnership with the University and his college and department to agree how best to remember him. We want to continue to celebrate and share his excitement for scientific discovery with younger people and future generations to come.”
There is already a small statue of Professor Hawking at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology which was unveiled in 2007, and Trinity Hall named a conference/seminar room after him in 2015 but neither is open to the wider public as a tribute to his work and life. In the council debate many contributions focused on how Professor Hawking had made physics and cosmology accessible beyond the academic confines to millions across the world, particularly to young people, as well as how his personal courage and tenacity inspired many facing their own health challenges.
Councillor Anna Smith, the City’s Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “As the lead for the Council on this project, I am looking forward to meeting with the University and Professor Hawking’s academic colleagues, and with others who want to contribute to developing jointly a project to remember our city’s most remarkable Cambridge resident in my lifetime.”