Martin Rees

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Martin Rees
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{{EngvarB|date=July 2016}}{{Use dmy dates|date=September 2019}}

| image = File:Martin Rees-6Nov2005.jpg| caption = Martin Rees in 2005List of presidents of the Royal Society>President of the Royal Society| order = 60th| term_start = 2005| term_end = 2010| predecessor = Robert May, Baron May of Oxford| successor = Paul Nurse| birth_name = Martin John Reesdf=yes6|23}}York, England, United Kingdom}}| death_date = | death_place = Caroline Humphrey|1986}}weblink}}| module =

Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics {{small>(1984)}}Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society {{smallBalzan Prize {{small>(1989)}}The Franklin Institute Awards {{small>(1998)}}Gruber Prize in Cosmology {{smallAlbert Einstein World Award of Science {{small>(2003)}}Michael Faraday Prize {{smallCrafoord Prize {{small>(2005)}}Order of Merit {{smallTempleton Prize {{small>(2011)}}Isaac Newton Medal {{smallHonFREng {{small>(2007)}}Nierenberg Prize {{small|(2015)}}}}embed=yestitle=Martin Rees' voicedescription=(:File:Martin Rees BBC Radio4 The Reith Lectures 22 June 2010 b00srktg.flac|Recorded June 2010) from the BBC Radio 4 programme the Reith Lectures}}}}Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, {{postnominals|country=GBR|size=100|commas=on|OM|FRS|FREng|FMedSci|FRAS}}WEB,weblink Anon, 2015, royalsociety, Royal Society, The Lord Rees of Ludlow OM Kt HonFREng FRS,weblink 17 November 2015, One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where: }}WEB, List of Fellows,weblink, (born 23 June 1942) is a British cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal since 1995WEB, Portraits of Astronomers Royal,weblink, Royal Museums Greenwich, 18 February 2015, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 4 January 2015, WEB,weblink Astronomer Royal, The official website of the British Monarchy, 6 June 2013, and was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge from 2004 to 2012 and President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010.{{Scopus id}}{{LCAuth|n80138784|Martin J. Rees|23|ue}}WEB,weblink 2005 talk: Is this our final century?,, accessed 31 August 2014WEB,weblink, Interviews with Charlie Rose, 2003 and 2008, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 28 January 2010, accessed 31 August 2014WEB,weblink, New Statesman Interviews Martin Rees, New Statesman, 2010, Anon, accessed 31 August 2014{{YouTube|id=zOV_J86wBKo|title= Talk by Martin Rees, March 2017}}

Education and early life

Rees was born on 23 June 1942 in York, England.Anon (2017) {{Who's Who | surname = REES OF LUDLOW | othernames = Baron | id = U32152 | edition = online Oxford University Press|location=Oxford}} {{doi|10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.32152}} {{subscription required}}GRO Register of Births: SEP 1942 9c 1465 YORK – Martin J. Rees, mmn=Bett After a peripatetic life during the war his parents, both teachers, settled with Rees, an only child, in a rural part of Shropshire near the border with Wales. There, his parents founded Bedstone College, a boarding school based on progressive educational concepts, that thrives to this day.WEB,weblink Templeton Prize – Current Winner, He was educated at Bedstone College, then from the age of 13 at Shrewsbury School. He studied for the mathematics tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with first class honours. He then undertook post-graduate research at Cambridge and completed a PhD supervised by Dennis Sciama in 1967.THESIS, PhD, Martin, Rees, Physical Processes in Radio Sources and the Intergalactic Medium, University of Cambridge, 1967,weblink Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow,, WEB,weblink Inventory: Martin Rees, Financial Times, 2014, 2014-08-31, {{subscription required}} Rees's post-graduate work in astrophysics in the mid-1960s coincided with an explosion of new discoveries, with breakthroughs ranging from confirmation of the big bang, the discovery of neutron stars and black holes, and a host of other revelations.

Career and research

After holding postdoctoral research positions in the United Kingdom and the United States, he taught at Sussex University and the University of Cambridge, where he was the Plumian Professor until 1991, and the director of the Institute of Astronomy.From 1992 to 2003, he was Royal Society Research Professor, and from 2003 Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics. He was Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London, in 1975 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979. He holds visiting professorships at Imperial College London and at the University of Leicester. He is a fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge,WEB, Master & fellows,weblink Darwin College Cambridge, 19 February 2018, and an Honorary Fellow of King's College,WEB,weblink Honorary Fellows,, en, 2018-03-15, Clare Hall,WEB,weblink Honorary Fellow {{!, Clare Hall||language=en|access-date=2018-03-15}} and Jesus College, Cambridge.WEB, Honorary and St Radegund Fellows,weblink Jesus College Cambridge, 19 February 2018, Rees is the author of more than 500 research papers, and he has made contributions to the origin of cosmic microwave background radiation, as well as to galaxy clustering and formation. His studies of the distribution of quasars led to final disproof of steady state theory.He was one of the first to propose that enormous black holes power quasars,JOURNAL, Rees, M.J., Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, 10.1146/annurev.aa.22.090184.002351, Black Hole Models for Active Galactic Nuclei, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 22, 471–506, 1984, 1984ARA&A..22..471R, and that superluminal astronomical observations can be explained as an optical illusion caused by an object moving partly in the direction of the observer.JOURNAL, Rees, M.J., Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, Appearance of Relativistically Expanding Radio Sources, 10.1038/211468a0, Nature, 211, 5048, 468–70, 1966, 1966Natur.211..468R, Since the 1990s, Rees has worked on gamma-ray bursts, especially in collaboration with Peter Mészáros,JOURNAL, Tidal heating and mass loss in neutron star binaries - Implications for gamma-ray burst models, P., Meszaros, M. J., Rees, 1992, 10, 570, Astrophysical Journal, 397, 1992ApJ...397..570M, 10.1086/171813, and on how the "cosmic dark ages" ended when the first stars formed. In a more speculative vein, he has, since the 1970s, been interested in anthropic reasoning, and the possibility that our visible universe is part of a vaster "multiverse".JOURNAL, The anthropic principle and the structure of the physical world, B. J., Carr, M. J., Rees, 1979, 5705, 605–612, Nature, 278, 10.1038/278605a0, 1979Natur.278..605C, BOOK, Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others, Martin J. Rees, Perseus Books, 1997, 9780738200330, Rees is an author of books on astronomy and science intended for the lay public and gives many public lectures and broadcasts. In 2010 he was chosen to deliver the Reith Lectures for the BBC,The Reith Lectures 2010: The Scientific Citizen by Martin Rees,; accessed 31 August 2014. now published as From Here to Infinity: Scientific Horizons. Rees believes the search for extraterrestrial intelligence is worthwhile, although the chance of success is small.Interview with Paul Broks,; accessed 31 August 2014.Aside from expanding his scientific interests, Rees has written and spoken extensively about the problems and challenges of the 21st century, and the interfaces between science, ethics, and politics."Dark Materials: The legacy of Joseph Rotblat",; accessed 31 August 2014.Podcast of Lecture "The World in 2050", given at the James Martin 21st Century School,, February 2009.NEWS,weblink Astronomer Royal Martin Rees: How soon will robots take over the world?, Rees, Martin, The Telegraph, 23 May 2015, 2019-06-23, en-GB, 0307-1235, He is a member of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Study, in Princeton, the Oxford Martin School, and the Gates Cambridge Trust. He co-founded the Centre for the Study of Existential RiskNEWS,weblink Humanity's last invention and our uncertain future, Lewsey, Fred, 25 November 2012, Research News, University of Cambridge, 28 January 2013, and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Future of Life Institute.{{Citation|year=2014 |title=Who We Are |publisher=Future of Life Institute |url= |archive-url= |dead-url=yes |archive-date=7 May 2014 |accessdate=7 May 2014 }} He has formerly been a Trustee of the British Museum, the Science Museum and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).In August 2014, Rees was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian expressing their hope that Scotland would vote to remain part of the United Kingdom in September's referendum on that issue.NEWS,weblink Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories, The Guardian, London, 7 August 2014, 26 August 2014, In 2015, he was co-author of the report that launched the Global Apollo Programme, which calls for developed nations to commit to spending 0.02% of their GDP for 10 years, to fund coordinated research to make carbon-free baseload electricity less costly than electricity from coal by the year 2025.NEWS, Carrington, Damian, Global Apollo programme seeks to make clean energy cheaper than coal,weblink 2 June 2015, The Guardian, 2 June 2015, Guardian News Media, His doctoral students have included Roger Blandford, Craig Hogan, Nick KaiserWEB,weblink Nick Kaiser {{!, Higgs Centre for Theoretical Physics||language=en|access-date=2018-03-15}} Priyamvada Natarajan,{{citation needed|date=December 2017}} and Susan Stepney.THESIS, PhD, University of Cambridge, Relativistic thermal plasmas, Susan, Stepney, 1983,weblink {{EThOS,, ||oclc=499834005}}


{{Div col|colwidth=35em}}
  • Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology (co-author John Gribbin), 1989, Bantam; {{ISBN|0-553-34740-3}}
  • New Perspectives in Astrophysical Cosmology, 1995; {{ISBN|0-521-64544-1}}
  • Gravity's Fatal Attraction: Black Holes in the Universe, 1995; {{ISBN|0-7167-6029-0}}, 2nd edition 2009, {{ISBN|0-521-71793-0}}
  • Before the Beginning – Our Universe and Others, 1997; {{ISBN|0-7382-0033-6}}
  • Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe, 1999; {{ISBN|0-297-84297-8}}
  • Our Cosmic Habitat, 2001; {{ISBN|0-691-11477-3}}
  • Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century—On Earth and Beyond (UK title: Our Final Century: Will the Human Race Survive the Twenty-first Century?), 2003; {{ISBN|0-465-06862-6}}
  • What We Still Don't Know {{ISBN|978-0-7139-9821-4}} yet to be published.
  • From Here to Infinity: Scientific Horizons, 2011; {{ISBN|978-1-84668-5033}}
  • On the Future: Prospects for Humanity, October 2018, Princeton University Press; {{ISBN|9780691180441}}
{{Div col end}}

Honours and awards

He has been President of the Royal Astronomical Society (1992–94) and the British Association (1995–96), and was a Member of Council of the Royal Institution of Great Britain until 2010. Rees has received honorary degrees from a number of universities including Hull, Sussex, Uppsala, Toronto, Durham, Oxford, Yale, Melbourne and Sydney. He belongs to several foreign academies, including the US National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences,WEB,weblinkweblink M.J. Rees, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 14 February 2016, 14 February 2016, the Science Academy of TurkeyWEB,weblink Foreign Honorary Members, Bilim Akademisi, Bilim Akademisi,weblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2015, yes, 31 August 2014, and the Japan Academy. He became President of the Royal Society on 1 December 2005Martin Rees tipped to head Royal Society,, 29 March 2005; accessed 31 August 2014.Martin Rees nominated for presidency of the Royal Society,, 29 March 2005; accessed 31 August 2014. and continued until the end of the Society's 350th Anniversary Celebrations in 2010. In 2011, he was awarded the Templeton Prize.Martin Rees wins controversial Templeton Prize,, 6 April 2011; accessed 31 August 2014. In 2005, Rees was elevated to a life peerage, sitting as a crossbencher in the House of Lords as Baron Rees of Ludlow, of Ludlow in the County of Shropshire.Sir Martin Rees appointed to the House of Lords,, 1 August 2005; accessed 31 August 2014. In 2005, he was awarded the Crafoord Prize.Professor Sir Martin Rees wins Crafoord Prize,, 10 February 2005; accessed 31 August 2014. Other awards and honours include:{{Div col|colwidth=35em}} {{Div col end}}The Asteroid 4587 Rees and the Sir Martin Rees Academic Scholarship at Shrewsbury International School are named in his honour.

Personal life

Rees married the anthropologist Caroline Humphrey in 1986. He is an atheist but has criticised militant atheists for being too hostile to religion.WEB,weblink Templeton Report: Martin J. Rees Wins 2011 Templeton Prize, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 3 March 2016, WEB,weblink Martin Rees: I've got no religious beliefs at all – interview, Ian, Sample, 6 April 2011, "Rees, while stating he is an atheist, declares that he shares a sense of "mystery" with those who believe in God." FT, 10/18,weblink He is a member of the Labour Party.

See also


{{reflist}}{{CC-notice|cc=by4|url=}}{{Commons category|Martin Rees}}{{Astronomers Royal}}{{Royal Society presidents 1900s}}{{Trinity College, Cambridge}}{{Templeton Prize Laureates}}{{Masters of Trinity College, Cambridge}}{{Albert Einstein World Award of Science Laureates|state=collapsed}}{{Authority control}}

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