If you want to attend the memorial service being held in Westminster Abbey next month to celebrate the life of Professor Stephen Hawking, then a public ballot opens today.

His three children, Robert, Lucy and Tim are offering tickets for the service to the public through the ballot system, run by the Stephen Hawking Foundation. The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, has also decided to open the Abbey free of charge following the service so that people can pay their respects at Professor Hawking’s grave.

Applications can be made here, and up to 1,000 places are available.

The ballot closes next Tuesday, 15th May at midnight.

The service will be attended by Professor Hawking’s family, friends, colleagues, academics and school children. His ashes will be interred between the graves of Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.

The memorial service takes place on Friday 16th June at noon.

The Stephen Hawking Foundation exists to continue the work, aims and endeavours of Professor Stephen Hawking. For more information on the aims and objectives of the Foundation, visit: www.stephenhawkingfoundation.org

Are time Travellers attending?

As an aside, Professor Hawking once threw a party for time travellers, to see if any would turn up if he posted the invite after the party. None did, but it seems perfect that the memorial website allows people born in the future to attend the service. Look out for time travellers at the Abbey.


Well, this blew up a bit. After I spotted the time travel option, it sparked a huge amount of interest on Twitter, leading to an article in the BBC, and then… everywhere!

It’s lovely to see that so many people were as attracted to his mischievous sense of scientific humour, and maybe it all made people think for a moment about the science he worked on throughout his long life.

A selection of news reports:

BBC News – Stephen Hawking service: Possibility of time travellers ‘can’t be excluded’

Bild – Gedenkfeier für Stephen Hawking Auch Zeitreisende sind willkommen!

Daily Mail – Stephen Hawking’s family invite TIME TRAVELLERS to the scientist’s memorial service

France 24 – El funeral de Stephen Hawking, abierto a los “viajeros del futuro”

Independent – Stephen Hawking memorial service appears to be catering for time travellers

LadBible – Stephen Hawking’s Family Seemingly Invites Time Travellers To Attend Memorial

Live Science – Stephen Hawking’s Memorial Might Have Time Travelers in Attendance

Mashable – Time travelers are invited to Stephen Hawking’s memorial service

NPR – Tardis Optional: Time Travelers Invited To Stephen Hawking Service

Reuters – Time travellers invited to Stephen Hawking send-off

Stern – Zu Stephen Hawkings Trauerfeier dürfen auch Zeitreisende kommen – ganz offiziell

The Sun – Stephen Hawking’s family appear to have invited time travellers from the year 2038 to professor’s memorial service


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  1. Andrew Gwilt says:

    He will always be remembered as the most cleverest man in the world. And a legend aswell. RIP Sir Stephen Hawking.

  2. Jona26 says:

    And it has made BBC news!

    I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

    Stephen Hawking service: Possibility of time travellers ‘can’t be excluded’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-44073903

  3. Isaac says:

    I appreciate the thought here regarding the aside about inviting time travelers, but this simply amounts to form validation for a signed 32-bit integer to make sure the site’s backend databases receive sane data.


    • Ian Visits says:

      Form validation doesn’t require dates in the entry field to go into the future though.

      I build databases, there’s nothing about the 2038 bug that affects date entry into the future being entered into a database.

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