Science lovers worldwide were devastated by the news of physicist Stephen Hawking’s death in March. And it appears that the organisers of his memorial service are not excluding anyone, even those born in the future.
Hawking’s funeral already took place back on March 31 in Cambridge, but now it’s time for the final farewell – and interment of the ashes.
The Service of Thanksgiving for Stephen Hawking is being held at Westminster Abbey, in London on Friday 15 June 2018.
There’s a ballot to gain one of the 1,000 spaces made available to members of the public, and the applications will be selected randomly.
London travel blogger IanVisits was the first to notice that anyone born between 2019 to 2038 were also able to select their birthday on the application, and thus go into the running to attend.
And it doesn’t appear to be an error, according to the Stephen Hawking Foundation.
“We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction,” a spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation told the BBC.
“All things are possible until proven otherwise.”
It’s only fitting to include this nod to time travellers in the application, given Hawking did play with the idea of time travel in the past.
While he didn’t really believe that we’ll ever be able to master backwards time travel (as oppose to the relatively easy feat of forward time travel), he did once host a party for time travellers.
“I have experimental evidence that time travel is not possible,” Hawking told reporters at the Seattle Science Festival in 2012.
“I gave a party for time-travellers, but I didn’t send out the invitations until after the party. I sat there a long time, but no one came.”
Stephen Hawking was often asked if time travel was possible. To test the theory he threw a champagne party, complete with Krug and hors d’oeuvres, in 2009. But he didn’t send the invitations out until long after it it had finished. No one turned up … #RIPstephenhawking pic.twitter.com/jGmQU0o8zD
— Ben Smith (@BSmith) March 14, 2018
Now it seems that the Stephen Hawking Foundation is willing to repeat that experiment, despite the discouraging results by the professor himself.
And to be fair, in this instance it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.
Hawking’s ashes will be laid to rest between the grave of Sir Isaac Newton who was buried there in 1727, and the final resting place of Charles Darwin, buried in 1882.
If you want to be included in the ballot, you can register your details here. But you better be quick, as it closes tomorrow, May 15 – unless you are a time traveller, of course.