Stephen Hawking’s thesis, wheelchair & other belongings to be auctioned

Gwen Vasquez
October 24, 2018

One is included in the sale, with an estimated price of 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds ($13,000 to $19,500).

Other items include copies of various scientific papers, a selection of medals, a bomber jacket he wore in a documentary, as well as a copy of his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, that's signed with Hawking's thumbprint. At the time, Hawking had already been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or colloquially known as Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Frank Augstein/APScientific papers written by Stephen Hawking. Pieces will be on display in London, and officially for sale October 31 through November 8. Hawking's notes and equations are visible in some of the pieces, including a line from his October 1965 Cambridge University doctorate thesis stating "This dissertation is my original work", followed by a "S.W. Hawking" signature.

Some of the most prized and significant possessions of the brilliant British physicist Stephen Hawking are to go under the hammer at Christie's in London later this month, including a copy of his PhD thesis, a script for the TV series "The Simpsons" and his earliest surviving wheelchair.

Thomas Venning, the head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, told the AP that the doctoral thesis reflects both Hawking's scientific achievements and his personal history.

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Fans can also snag an original production script for The Simpsons episode "Elementary School Musical" (estimated to sell for $2,600-$3,900)-in which Hawking makes his final appearance on the show. In his case, the disease's progress was a slow one that didn't kill him in two years after being diagnosed, as doctors claimed, but made him dependant on wheelchairs and voice synthesizers for most of his life. Christie's estimates that the item will sell from between $12,600 and $18,900.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Christie's said.

"It was in 1983 that Hawking first suggested the idea of a popular work on cosmology, which would explain modern physics and astronomy in non-specialist terms to a popular readership", Christie's states.

This particular chair is the last one used by Hawking while he still had control of his hands and before needing more sophisticated technology.

Hawking's daughter Lucy said the sale gave "admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items".

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