Hawking, who is due to retire as Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge next year when he turns 67, will however retain links with Cambridge. "I look forward to building a growing partnership between PI and our Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge," he says. "Our research endeavour is global, and by combining forces I believe we will reap rich rewards."
Besides, as theorists, do people really have to be at a particular location all the time? I know there's a lot of benefit at being able to talk to others and hash out one's ideas, or even gather ideas from other people. But this is definitely not the same as the case for experimentalists where one HAS to be at a particular location to be able to do the work. So Hawking can still be back at Cambridge, and make a few trips a year to PI.