It’s safe to say that Hawking inspired so many people of my generation (and generations after us, hopefully) with his wit and humor along with his insights into the workings of black holes and the cosmos.
As a teenager who dove into the world of astronomy and cosmology as an escape from my small rural hometown, I always found Hawking as an incredible enigma with his dense articles, pop-sci books, and then appearances on The Simpsons and Star Trek: The Next Generation (all of which I cherished and continue to do so.
As a Middle School Science Teacher, I frequently used video clips of Prof. Hawking to make a point about space or black holes or the need for humble humor in all of our exploits.
Rest easy and continue to spur us forward in our journey to the stars, Prof. Hawking.
“His final resting place lies between the remains of two other famed scientists, Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.
It is a rare honor to be interred at the Abbey, and one that has not been given to a scientist for almost 80 years. Before Hawking, the last scientists laid to rest at Westminster were atomic physicists Ernest Rutherford in 1937 and Joseph John Thomson in 1940.”