Sir Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow

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Sir Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow

Birthplace: Shropshire, UK
Immediate Family:

Husband of Private

Managed by: Carlos F. Bunge
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Immediate Family

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About Sir Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Lord Rees of Ludlow

Jodrell Bank in 2007 Born 23 June 1942 (1942-06-23) (age 69) York, UK Fields Astronomy and Astrophysics Institutions Trinity College, Cambridge University of Sussex Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge Doctoral advisor Dennis Sciama Doctoral students Roger Blandford, Craig Hogan, Priyamvada Natarajan Known for Cosmic microwave background radiation, quasars, Astronomer Royal Notable awards Balzan Prize (1989), Bower Award (1998), Gruber Prize in Cosmology (2001), Michael Faraday Prize (2004), Crafoord Prize (2005) Templeton Prize (2011)

Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow, OM, FRS (born 23 June 1942 in York[1]) is a British cosmologist and astrophysicist. He has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge since 2004. He was President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010.


   * 1 Education
   * 2 Scientific career
   * 3 Honours
   * 4 Publications
   * 5 See also
   * 6 References
   * 7 External links

Rees was educated at Shrewsbury School and Trinity College, Cambridge (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 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 also holds Visiting Professorships at Imperial College London and at the University of Leicester and is an Honorary Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge. 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 (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, 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 also one of the first to propose that enormous black holes power quasars [2], and that superluminal astronomical observations can be explained as an optical illusion caused by an object moving partly in the direction of the observer.[3] 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 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[4], 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.[5]

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.[6] In 2005, he was awarded the Crafoord Prize.[7] He became President of the Royal Society on 1 December 2005[8] [9] 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.[10] 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.[11][12] He is a member of the Board of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, the IPPR, the Oxford Martin School and the Gates Cambridge Trust. He has formerly been a Trustee of the British Museum and the Science Museum.



   * Heineman Prize (1984)
   * Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1987)
   * Balzan Prize (1989) for High Energy Astrophysics
   * Knight Bachelor (1992)
   * Bruce Medal (1993)
   * Bruno Rossi Prize (2000)
   * Gruber Prize in Cosmology (2001)
   * Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society (2004)
   * Lifeboat Foundation's Guardian Award (2004)
   * Royal Society's Michael Faraday Prize for science communication (2004)
   * Life Peerage (2005)
   * Crafoord Prize, with James Gunn and James Peebles (2005)
   * Order of Merit-the personal gift of The Queen (2007)
   * Caird Medal of the National Maritime Museum (2007)
   * Templeton Prize (2011)

Named after him

   * Asteroid 4587 Rees
   * Cosmic Coincidences: Dark Matter, Mankind, and Anthropic Cosmology (coauthor 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, 2000, ISBN 0-465-03673-2
   * 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 978-0713998214] 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
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Sir Martin John Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow's Timeline

June 23, 1942
Shropshire, UK