Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow
Overview
 
Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, FRS  (born 23 June 1942 in York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

) is a British cosmologist
Physical cosmology
Physical cosmology, as a branch of astronomy, is the study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and is concerned with fundamental questions about its formation and evolution. For most of human history, it was a branch of metaphysics and religion...

 and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland dating from 1834....

 since 1995 and Master
Master (college)
A Master is the title of the head of some colleges and other educational institutions. This applies especially at some colleges and institutions at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge .- See also :* Master A Master (or in female form Mistress) is the title of the head of some...

 of Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

 since 2004. He was President of the Royal Society
President of the Royal Society
The president of the Royal Society is the elected director of the Royal Society of London. After informal meetings at Gresham College, the Royal Society was founded officially on 15 July 1662 for the encouragement of ‘philosophical studies’, by a royal charter which nominated William Brouncker as...

 between 2005 and 2010.
Rees was educated at Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 13 to 18, founded by Royal Charter in 1552. The present campus to which the school moved in 1882 is located on the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England...

 and Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

 (where he attained a First Class degree in mathematics), and completed his doctorate under Dennis Sciama at Cambridge.
After holding post-doctoral research positions in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he taught at Sussex University
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

 and the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, where he was the Plumian Professor
Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy
The Plumian chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy is one of the two major Professorships in Astronomy at Cambridge University, alongside the Lowndean Professorship. The chair is currently held at the Institute of Astronomy in the University...

 until 1991, and the director of the Institute of Astronomy
Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge
The Institute of Astronomy is the largest of the three astronomy departments in the University of Cambridge, and one of the largest astronomy sites in the UK...

.
Encyclopedia
Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, FRS  (born 23 June 1942 in York
York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

) is a British cosmologist
Physical cosmology
Physical cosmology, as a branch of astronomy, is the study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and is concerned with fundamental questions about its formation and evolution. For most of human history, it was a branch of metaphysics and religion...

 and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal
Astronomer Royal is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. There are two officers, the senior being the Astronomer Royal dating from 22 June 1675; the second is the Astronomer Royal for Scotland dating from 1834....

 since 1995 and Master
Master (college)
A Master is the title of the head of some colleges and other educational institutions. This applies especially at some colleges and institutions at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge .- See also :* Master A Master (or in female form Mistress) is the title of the head of some...

 of Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

 since 2004. He was President of the Royal Society
President of the Royal Society
The president of the Royal Society is the elected director of the Royal Society of London. After informal meetings at Gresham College, the Royal Society was founded officially on 15 July 1662 for the encouragement of ‘philosophical studies’, by a royal charter which nominated William Brouncker as...

 between 2005 and 2010.

Education

Rees was educated at Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School
Shrewsbury School is a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 13 to 18, founded by Royal Charter in 1552. The present campus to which the school moved in 1882 is located on the banks of the River Severn in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England...

 and Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

 (where he attained a First Class degree in mathematics), and completed his doctorate under Dennis Sciama at Cambridge.

Scientific career

After holding post-doctoral research positions in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, he taught at Sussex University
University of Sussex
The University of Sussex is an English public research university situated next to the East Sussex village of Falmer, within the city of Brighton and Hove. The University received its Royal Charter in August 1961....

 and the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, where he was the Plumian Professor
Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy
The Plumian chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy is one of the two major Professorships in Astronomy at Cambridge University, alongside the Lowndean Professorship. The chair is currently held at the Institute of Astronomy in the University...

 until 1991, and the director of the Institute of Astronomy
Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge
The Institute of Astronomy is the largest of the three astronomy departments in the University of Cambridge, and one of the largest astronomy sites in the UK...

. From 1992 to 2003, he was Royal Society Research Professor, and from 2003 Professor of Cosmology
Physical cosmology
Physical cosmology, as a branch of astronomy, is the study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of the universe and is concerned with fundamental questions about its formation and evolution. For most of human history, it was a branch of metaphysics and religion...

 and Astrophysics
Astrophysics
Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

. He was Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College
Gresham College
Gresham College is an institution of higher learning located at Barnard's Inn Hall off Holborn in central London, England. It was founded in 1597 under the will of Sir Thomas Gresham and today it hosts over 140 free public lectures every year within the City of London.-History:Sir Thomas Gresham,...

, London, in 1975 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979. He also holds Visiting Professorships at Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Imperial College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom, specialising in science, engineering, business and medicine...

 and at the University of Leicester
University of Leicester
The University of Leicester is a research-led university based in Leicester, England. The main campus is a mile south of the city centre, adjacent to Victoria Park and Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College....

 and is an Honorary Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge
Darwin College, Cambridge
Darwin College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.Founded in 1964, Darwin was Cambridge University's first graduate-only college, and also the first to admit both men and women. The college is named after the family of one of the university's most famous graduates, Charles Darwin...

. He has received honorary degrees from a number of universities including Sussex, Uppsala, Toronto, Durham, Oxford, Yale and Melbourne. He belongs to several foreign academies, including the US National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He has been President of the Royal Astronomical Society
Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society is a learned society that began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research . It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 on receiving its Royal Charter from William IV...

 (1992-4) and the British Association (1995-6) and was a Member of Council of the Royal Institution of Great Britain until 2010. Rees is the author of more than 500 research papers, and he has made important contributions to the origin of cosmic microwave background radiation
Cosmic microwave background radiation
In cosmology, cosmic microwave background radiation is thermal radiation filling the observable universe almost uniformly....

, as well as to galaxy
Galaxy
A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and an important but poorly understood component tentatively dubbed dark matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias , literally "milky", a...

 clustering and formation. His studies of the distribution of quasar
Quasar
A quasi-stellar radio source is a very energetic and distant active galactic nucleus. Quasars are extremely luminous and were first identified as being high redshift sources of electromagnetic energy, including radio waves and visible light, that were point-like, similar to stars, rather than...

s led to final disproof of Steady State theory
Steady State theory
In cosmology, the Steady State theory is a model developed in 1948 by Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold, Hermann Bondi and others as an alternative to the Big Bang theory...

. He was also one of the first to propose that enormous black hole
Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole. Around a black hole there is a mathematically defined surface called an event horizon that...

s power quasars , and that superluminal
Faster-than-light
Faster-than-light communications and travel refer to the propagation of information or matter faster than the speed of light....

 astronomical observations can be explained as an optical illusion caused by an object moving partly in the direction of the observer. In recent years he has worked on gamma-ray bursts, especially in collaboration with Peter Mészáros, and on how the “cosmic dark ages” ended when the first stars formed. In a more speculative vein, he has (from the 1970s onwards) been interested in anthropic reasoning, and the possibility that our visible universe is part of a vaster “multiverse”.

He is also a well-respected author of books on astronomy
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 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
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, now published as "From Here to Infinity: Scientific Horizons". Rees believes the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is worthwhile, even though the chance of success is small.

In 2005, Rees was elevated to a life peer
Life peer
In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles cannot be inherited. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as...

age, sitting as a crossbencher in the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 as Baron Rees of Ludlow, of Ludlow
Ludlow
Ludlow is a market town in Shropshire, England close to the Welsh border and in the Welsh Marches. It lies within a bend of the River Teme, on its eastern bank, forming an area of and centred on a small hill. Atop this hill is the site of Ludlow Castle and the market place...

 in the County of Shropshire
Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

. In 2005, he was awarded the Crafoord Prize.
He became President of the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

 on 1 December 2005
and continued in this role until the end of the Society's 350th Anniversary Celebrations in 2010. In 2011, he was awarded the Templeton Prize
Templeton Prize
The Templeton Prize is an annual award presented by the Templeton Foundation. Established in 1972, it is awarded to a living person who, in the estimation of the judges, "has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical...

. As well as 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. He is a member of the Board of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the IPPR, the Oxford Martin School
Oxford Martin School
The Oxford Martin School was founded in June 2005 as the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford. It is named after its benefactor, James Martin, author of the influential books, The Wired Society and The Meaning of the 21st Century...

 and the Gates Cambridge Trust. He has formerly been a Trustee of the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

 and the Science Museum
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

.

Honours

Awards
  • Heineman Prize
    Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics
    The Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics is jointly awarded each year by the American Astronomical Society and American Institute of Physics for outstanding work in astrophysics. It is funded by the Heineman Foundation in honour of Dannie Heineman....

     (1984)
  • Gold Medal
    Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
    -History:In the early years, more than one medal was often awarded in a year, but by 1833 only one medal was being awarded per year. This caused a problem when Neptune was discovered in 1846, because many felt an award should jointly be made to John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier...

     of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Royal Astronomical Society
    The Royal Astronomical Society is a learned society that began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research . It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 on receiving its Royal Charter from William IV...

     (1987)
  • Balzan Prize
    Balzan Prize
    The International Balzan Prize Foundation awards four annual monetary prizes to people or organisations who have made outstanding achievements in the fields of humanities, natural sciences, culture, as well as for endeavours for peace and the brotherhood of man.-Rewards and assets:Each year the...

     (1989) for High Energy Astrophysics
  • Knight Bachelor
    Knight Bachelor
    The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

     (1992)
  • Bruce Medal
    Bruce Medal
    The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal is awarded every year by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for outstanding lifetime contributions to astronomy. It is named after Catherine Wolfe Bruce, an American patroness of astronomy, and was first awarded in 1898...

     (1993)
  • Bruno Rossi Prize
    Bruno Rossi Prize
    The Bruno Rossi Prize is awarded annually by the High Energy Astrophysics division of the American Astronomical Society "for a significant contribution to High Energy Astrophysics, with particular emphasis on recent, original work". Named after astrophysicist Bruno Rossi, the prize is awarded with...

     (2000)
  • Gruber Prize in Cosmology
    Gruber Prize in Cosmology
    The Gruber Prize in Cosmology is one of five international awards made by The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation, an American non-profit organization based in the U.S. Virgin Islands with offices in New York City...

     (2001)
  • Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
    Henry Norris Russell Lectureship
    The Henry Norris Russell Lectureship is awarded each year by the American Astronomical Society in recognition of a lifetime of excellence in astronomical research.-Previous lecturers:This list of lecturers is from the American Astronomical Society's website....

     of the American Astronomical Society
    American Astronomical Society
    The American Astronomical Society is an American society of professional astronomers and other interested individuals, headquartered in Washington, DC...

     (2004)
  • Lifeboat Foundation's Guardian Award (2004)
  • Royal Society
    Royal Society
    The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

    's Michael Faraday Prize
    Michael Faraday Prize
    The Michael Faraday Prize is awarded by the Royal Society of London for "excellence in communicating science to UK audiences". Named after Michael Faraday, the medal itself is made of silver gilt, and is accompanied by a purse of £2500...

     for science communication (2004)
  • Life Peerage (2005)
  • Crafoord Prize
    Crafoord Prize
    The Crafoord Prize is an annual science prize established in 1980 by Holger Crafoord, a Swedish industrialist, and his wife Anna-Greta Crafoord...

    , with James Gunn
    James E. Gunn
    James Edward Gunn is the Eugene Higgins Professor of Astronomy at Princeton University. Gunn's early theoretical work in astronomy has helped establish the current understanding of how galaxies form, and the properties of the space between galaxies...

     and James Peebles (2005)
  • Order of Merit
    Order of Merit
    The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

    -the personal gift of The Queen (2007)
  • Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum
    National Maritime Museum
    The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings forming part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, it also incorporates the Royal Observatory, Greenwich,...

     (2007)
  • Templeton Prize
    Templeton Prize
    The Templeton Prize is an annual award presented by the Templeton Foundation. Established in 1972, it is awarded to a living person who, in the estimation of the judges, "has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life's spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical...

     (2011)


Named after him
  • Asteroid
    Asteroid
    Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

     4587 Rees
    4587 Rees
    4587 Rees is an Amor asteroid discovered on September 30, 1973 at the Palomar Observatory by Cornelis Johannes van Houten, Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels. The Provisional designation given to 4587 Rees was 3239 T-2. It has a rotation period of 7.7886 hours. 4587 Rees was named in...


Publications

  • Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology (coauthor John Gribbin
    John Gribbin
    John R. Gribbin is a British science writer and a visiting Fellow in astronomy at the University of Sussex.- Biography :John Gribbin graduated with his bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Sussex in 1966. Gribbin then earned his master of science degree in astronomy in 1967, also...

    ), 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, 2000, ISBN 0-465-03673-2
  • Our Cosmic Habitat, 2001, ISBN 0-691-11477-3
  • Our Final Hour
    Our Final Hour
    Our Final Hour is a 2003 book by the British Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees. The full title of the book is Our Final Hour: A Scientist's Warning: How Terror, Error, and Environmental Disaster Threaten Humankind's Future In This Century - On Earth and Beyond...

    : 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 978-0713998214] yet to be published.
  • From Here to Inifinity: Scientific Horizons, 2011, ISN 978 1 84668 5033

See also

  • Rees's Six Fundamental Numbers
  • Gresham Professor of Astronomy
    Gresham Professor of Astronomy
    The Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College, London, gives free educational lectures to the general public. The college was founded for this purpose in 1596 / 7, when it appointed seven professors; this has since increased to eight and in addition the college now has visiting professors.The...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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