Participants 2018-07-31T10:10:02+00:00

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed Stephen Hawking in the BBC film, ‘Hawking’ in 2004 as well as narrating the series ‘Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.’ Benedict is a friend of the Hawking family and is also an Ambassador for the MNDA charity which pioneers research into MND and supports people with MND and their families. Benedict Cumberbatch gave a reading at the service.

The Reverend Dr Carolyn Hammond

The Reverend Dr Hammond is the Dean of Gonville and Caius, the Cambridge college where Stephen Hawking was a fellow for over 50 years. The Reverend Dr Hammond conducted Stephen Hawking’s funeral service in Cambridge on 2nd April 2018. Reverend Dr Hammond read a prayer at the service.

Jane Hawking

Jane Wilde met Stephen Hawking at a New Year’s party on 1st January 1963. His illness was diagnosed in February of that year and they married in July 1965. Jane travelled extensively with Stephen, accompanying him to physics conferences worldwide and increasingly, supporting him as his carer while as he established what would become his world famous career as a scientist and a communicator of science. They had three children, Robert, Lucy and Timothy. In 2014, Jane’s memoir was made into the Oscar winning film, The Theory of Everything.  Jane Hawking read a prayer at the service.

Lucy Hawking

Lucy Hawking is the daughter of Professor Stephen Hawking. Lucy collaborated with her father on a series of children’s books, working with her father on a wide range of initiatives to engage young students with science.

Tom Nabarro

Tom Nabarro met Stephen Hawking and his family after a devastating accident radically changed Tom’s future. Stephen Hawking greatly admired Tom’s resilience and determination in the face of challenges. Tom now works in the field of software design as well as advocating for the rights of disabled people through outreach and motivational speaking. Tom and his wife Ellen welcomed their first child on 14th March 2018, the day that Stephen Hawking died. Their son has the middle name ‘Stephen.’ Tom Nabarro gave a personal tribute to the life of Stephen Hawking.

Major Tim Peake

Major Tim Peake CMG is a British astronaut with the European Space Agency, who travelled to the ISS in December 2015. Stephen Hawking was passionately interested in space travel and the way that human spaceflight could provide inspiration for young people to engage with science. In 2016, Stephen Hawking and Major Peake held a two way conversation between the ISS and Cambridge in which they discussed space travel, education and the impacts of climate change on the Earth. Major Tim Peake gave a reading at the service.

Lord Rees of Ludlow

Lord Rees of Ludlow is the Astronomer Royal. Lord Rees knew Stephen Hawking both as a friend and colleague since 1962 when they shared the same doctoral adviser, Dennis Sciama. Both Lord Rees and Stephen Hawking worked in the field of cosmology and astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. Lord Rees gave the address at the service of Thanksgiving.

Elinor Tatum

Elinor R. Tatum, publisher and Editor in Chief of the New York Amsterdam News has been a long term friend of the Hawking family. A dedicated and outspoken advocate for social justice and equality, Elinor Tatum is also strongly interested in improving access to education for disadvantaged young people, an aim she shared with Stephen Hawking. Elinor Tatum read a prayer at the service.

Professor Kip Thorne

Professor Kip Thorne is one of the most highly regarded scientists in the world. In 2016, with his collaborators, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on gravitational waves. A long term close friend, Professor Thorne gave a personal and scientific tribute to the life and work of Stephen Hawking. Professor Thorne is a trustee of the Stephen Hawking Foundation.’

Professor Stephen J Toope

Professor Toope is the 346th Vice Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, the university which was the academic home to Stephen Hawking for over 50 years. A Canadian by birth, Professor Toope is a distinguished scholar in the field of human rights and international law. The Vice Chancellor read a prayer.