The family of pioneering scientist Stephen Hawking, who passed away in 2018, donated his archive and personal belongings as part of an arrangement that replaces the huge payment of inheritance tax that stood at £ 4.2 million.
The arrangement was made in accordance with a government plan that allows families who have to pay inheritance tax to transfer items of historical, cultural or scientific importance to the nation in order to allow free access to the public.
All items in Hawking’s office in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University have been donated to the Science Museum and the entire archive of documents has been transferred to the University Library, where they will be displayed alongside the collections of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin.
Among the donated items are books and a copy of Hawking’s original doctoral dissertation, worksheets, medals and awards, Star Trek souvenirs and wheelchairs and the communication system used by the genius scientist to make his voice heard.
Hawking has also appeared in several episodes of “The Simpsons” and the donation includes scripts from the episodes and souvenirs, including a doll in the character of Hawking. However, Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, said the scripts do not include one of Hawking’s famous lines during a conversation with Homer in Moe’s pub: “Your theory about a donut-shaped universe is intriguing, Homer. I might steal it.”