Martin Rees

Surviving the Century - and Beyond

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This is the first century when one species, ours, can determine our planet's fate. In this event, the Astronomer Royal Martin Rees puts the Earth in its cosmic context and discusses the main threats confronting humanity and our environment - and what needs to be done to minimise them.


Martin Rees is a leading astrophysicist as well as a senior figure in UK science. He is one of the co-funders of The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER), a research centre at the University of Cambridge, intended to study possible extinction-levelthreats posed by present or future technology


He has conducted influential theoretical work on subjects as diverse as black hole formation and extragalactic radio sources, and provided key evidence to contradict the Steady State theory of the evolution of the Universe. Much of his most valuable research has focused on the end of the so-called cosmic dark ages, a period shortly after the Big Bang when the Universe was as yet without light sources.

As Astronomer Royal and a past president of the Royal Society, Martin is a prominent scientific spokesperson and the author of seven books of popular science. After receiving a knighthood in 1992 for his services to science, he was elevated to the title of Baron Rees of Ludlow in 2005.