Stephen Hawking's Memorial Service Invites Any Future Time Travelers Who Wish to Attend

Saturday, 12 May 2018 - 10:58AM
Saturday, 12 May 2018 - 10:58AM
Stephen Hawking's Memorial Service Invites Any Future Time Travelers Who Wish to Attend
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NASA/Paul E. Alers
Several years ago, Stephen Hawking held a fun experiment: host a party exclusively for time travelers, don't send out any invites until a week after the party, and then see who arrived from the future to drink champagne with the famous theoretical physicist.

No time travelers came to that party, but Stephen Hawking's upcoming memorial service has a public ballot where you can register to attend, and anybody born up to 30 years in the future can apply for tickets, either as another go at his experiment, or simply a nice gesture in the spirit of the late physicist's research.

When entering your date of birth, you can see that anybody from the past century and up to the year 2038 can enter their birthdate without having to fudge any details. The memorial service will be held at Westminster Abbey on June 15, 2018, and applications are open until this coming Monday, May 15.

This detail was first noticed by the British travel blogger IanVisits, but Hawking's foundation later confirmed that it is indeed intentional, since Hawking had concluded that time travel has not yet been disproven and could still be theoretically possible. 

Speaking to the BBC, a spokesman for the Stephen Hawking Foundation said that while everybody among the thousands of applicants is currently from the present, they can't simply dismiss the possibility of attendees from the future:

Opening quote
"We cannot exclude the possibility of time travel as it has not been disproven to our satisfaction. All things are possible until proven otherwise. But so far we have had applications from all round the world, and we do mean round - there are no flat-Earthers here."
Closing quote

Hawking passed away in March 2018 at age 76, after complications arising from his amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) which he's lived with for the past 55 years. He was working with physics until the end, even revising a multiverse theory that was posthumously published in a scientific journal.

But if you're reading this 30 years from now and technology has indeed gone through a few singularities over the decades, know this: if you want to visit the memorial in 2018, there's still time. It sounds like you'll be quite welcome when you arrive.

Science News