Lord Martin Rees
Lord Martin Rees, Ph.D.,
is author of
Our Final Hour: A Scientist’s Warning.
He is also
a Fellow of Trinity College and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and
Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title
of Astronomer Royal and also Visiting Professor at Imperial College
London and at Leicester University.
He has received honorary degrees from a number of universities including
Sussex, Uppsala, Toronto, Durham, Oxford, London, Yale, Greenwich, Melbourne,
After studying at the University of Cambridge, Martin held post-doctoral positions in the UK and the USA, before becoming a professor at Sussex University. In 1973, he became a fellow of King’s College and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge (continuing in the latter post until 1991) and served for ten years as director of Cambridge’s Institute of Astronomy. From 1992 to 2003 he was a Royal Society Research Professor, and then from 2004 to 2012, Master of Trinity College. In 2005 he was appointed to the House of Lords, and he was President of the Royal Society from 2005 to 2010.
He is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy, and several other foreign academies. His awards include the Lifeboat Foundation Guardian Award, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Balzan International Prize, the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (AAS/AIP), the Bower Award for Science of the Franklin Institute, the Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the Crafoord Prize (Royal Swedish Academy), the Templeton Prize, and the Isaac Newton Medal. Asteroid 4587 Rees is named after him.
Martin has been president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1994–95) and the Royal Astronomical Society (1992–94) and a trustee of the British Museum, NESTA, the Kennedy Memorial Trust, the National Museum of Science and Industry, and the Institute for Public Policy Research. He is currently on the Board of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the Cambridge Gates Trust, and has served on many bodies connected with education, space research, arms control, and international collaboration in science.
He is the author or coauthor of more than 500 research papers, mainly on astrophysics and cosmology, as well as eight books (six for general readership), and numerous magazine and newspaper articles on scientific and general subjects. He has broadcast and lectured widely and held various visiting professorships, etc.
Martin’s books include Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe, From Here to Infinity: A Vision for the Future of Science, Before The Beginning: Our Universe And Others, Gravity’s Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe, Our Cosmic Habitat, Universe: The Definitive Visual Guide, Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology, and New Perspectives in Astrophysical Cosmology.
His main current research interests are:
- (i) High energy astrophysics — especially gamma ray bursts, galactic nuclei, black hole formation, and radiative processes (including gravitational waves).
- (ii) Cosmic structure formation — especially the early generation of stars and galaxies that formed at high redshifts at the end of the cosmic “dark age”.
- (iii) General cosmological issues.