Lord Martin Rees

Renowned Cambridge astrophysicist and cosmologist Professor Lord Martin Rees has been named this year’s recipient of the world’s oldest and most prestigious scientific award.

Lord Rees, a Fellow of Trinity College and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University, has been awarded the Royal Society’s Copley Medal for sustained, outstanding achievements in any field of science. First awarded in 1731, previous recipients of the medal have included Louis Pasteur, Dorothy Hodgkin, Albert Einstein, and Charles Darwin.

A Fellow and former President of the Royal Society, and the UK’s current Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees is one of the most distinguished theoretical astrophysicists of his generation and was chosen for his many and varied conceptual breakthroughs over several decades, with influence spreading far beyond the specialist academic community.

Accepting the Medal, Lord Rees, who has authored or co-authored more than 500 research papers and 11 books, said: “It is of course deeply gratifying to have my lifetime efforts recognised by award of the Copley medal.

“I've been especially fortunate to have injected fruitful ideas into the interpretation of new data in several areas of astronomy, and to have collaborated with many colleagues at different phases of my career.”

Also receiving Royal Society Medals and Awards this year are Cambridge Professors Sarah Franklin and Erwin Reisner.

Professor Franklin is awarded the Wilkins-Bernal-Medawar Medal and Lecture for her research into, and advocacy for, the social aspects of new reproductive technologies, while Professor Reisner is awarded the Hughes Medal for pioneering new concepts and solar technologies for the production of sustainable fuels and chemicals from carbon dioxide, biomass and plastic waste.

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