The wheels are in motion for Cambridge to get a permanent public tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking.
Prof Hawking, who died last month at the age of 75, inspired millions across the worldwith the insights he offered into complex scientific problems, and his triumph over Motor Neurone disease, which he was diagnosed with aged 21.
Now Cambridge, the city Prof Hawking called his home, and where he was a fellow at Gonville and Caius College, could be about to pay homage to him with a permanent memorial.
A motion due to come before Cambridge City Council on Thursday (April 19) looks to bring a “lasting public tribute” to Prof Hawking to the streets of Cambridge.
The tribute would be worked out alongside Prof Hawkings family and his colleagues at Gonville and Caius, as well as input from the people of Cambridge.
The motion, put forward by Cllr Peter Roberts says: “The council believes that Professor Stephen Hawking was a proud resident of Cambridge. That Cambridge gained from our city's association with Professor Stephen Hawking. That – judging by the messages from the public, people-lined streets and media reaction following his death – the University of Cambridge, the scientific community and our city have lost a much-loved and respected ambassador.”
Remembering Stephen Hawking
The motion goes on to say: “For someone who did so much to promote science among the public, challenge stereotypes and inspire others, it would be remiss not to have a public and lasting tribute to Professor Hawking.”
The motion calls for the council to resolve to:
• Work to put in place a lasting public tribute to Prof Hawking, taking into account the wishes of the Hawking family, Gonville and Caius College, his department and the University of Cambridge.
• Engage with Cambridge residents through the local media and other outlets, to ensure that the eventual project carries with it the widest possible support.
• Ask the executive councillor for streets and open spaces to lead on the project, alongside the appropriate council committees.
Ideas for other ways to remember Prof Hawking have included city centre statues, a black-hole sculpture near the Guildhall, and naming the new Cambridge South Station in his honour – an idea city mayor George Pippas is keen on.
Other suggestions include a statue outside Cambridge Station, or a permanent light installation in the city centre.