"By making my PhD thesis open access, I hope to inspire people around the world to look up at the stars and not down at their feet; to wonder about our place in the universe and to try and make sense of the cosmos", Hawking said in a statement after it was announced that his thesis would be made public.
According to BBC, the thesis was made available on the publications section of university's website at 12.01am, and more than 60,000 persons have so far accessed Hawking's work as a 24-year-old postgraduate. "As a result, visitors to our open access site may find that it is performing slower than usual and may at times be temporarily unavailable".
The thesis is now freely available to all, to mark Open Access Week 2017.
Arthur Smith, deputy head of scholarly communication, said more open-access research could lead to major breakthroughs. "PhD theses contain a vast trove of untapped and unique information just waiting to be used, but which is often locked away from view and scrutiny". Therefore, just as he, as a student, was inspired by the works of Newton, Maxwell and Einstein, it is his and his peers' duty to leave a legacy for the academics of the future.
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