Professor Lord Martin Rees is the UK’s Astronomer Royal and 60th President of the Royal Society. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Martin is a professor of cosmology and astrophysics and a world-leading expert on existential risk from AI, biotechnology, solar flares, asteroid impacts and super volcanoes. A thought leader on the future of humanity, Martin is recognised as an authority on global issues such as population growth and the threat of emerging technologies like AI. An outstanding orator, Martin has delivered thought-provoking presentations on the future of humanity, speaking at premier events globally.
Hailing from a family of educators, Martin received a progressive education at an early age and then attended the University of Cambridge to study the Mathematical tripos at Trinity College. Graduating with first-class honours, he went on to complete his PhD at the distinguished university, where he was supervised by the erudite physicist Dennis Sciama, who is credited with developing British physics after the Second World War. After completing doctoral positions in the UK and the USA, Martin was appointed a Professor at Sussex University. An accomplished scholar, Martin became a Fellow at Kings College, followed by the esteemed role of Pulmian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.
Serving as Director of the Cambridge Institute of Astronomy for over a decade, Martin also co-founded the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and was a Royal Society Research Professor. Moreover, Martin became the 38th Master of Trinity College, Cambridge and was appointed a Lord at the House of Lords in 2006. At the forefront of scientific research for over four decades, Martin has published 500 journal articles and is the author of On the Future: Prospects for Humanity, Just Six Numbers, Our Final Hour, and If Science is to Save Us. A preeminent scholar, he has received multiple awards, including the Einstein Award of the World Cultural Council, the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics and the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Martin’s contributions to cosmology and astrophysics are vast. However, he is best known for predicting the uneven distribution of matter in the universe and disproving the Steady State theory. His pioneering research has also led to ground-breaking developments in black holes, galaxy formation, cosmic jets and other speculative elements of cosmology. A firm believer that the future of humanity is bound to the future of science, Martin has turned his attention to the threat of AI, raising concerns about the potential for the technology to surpass humans and use by bad agents. Now available to hire as a speaker, Martin captivates audiences with his knowledge of future applications and implications of AI.