Cambridge University | Cambridge, UK
For his contributions to elucidating the nature of quasars, black holes, X- and gamma-ray sources, and many other phenomena in high-energy astrophysics and cosmology. His original ideas span 30 years, from the prediction of superluminal motion in radio sources to exploding fireballs in gamma-ray bursts, always in fruitful contact with observations. He has broadened understanding of the universe by training dozens of creative younger astrophysicists, inspiring public appreciation of science, and formulating science policy.
1998 Bower Science Award Theme: Astronomy
Sir Martin Rees is one of the world's leading theorists in the field of astrophysics and cosmology. He was the first to propose the fantastic and now widely accepted theory that the engines driving the high-energy, deep-space quasars seen through the Hubble Space Telescope are actually enormous black holes. England's Astronomer Royal, Rees was Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge University, and was elected to this chair at the age of 30. He was also president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and has directed wide-ranging research programs at Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy for the last 20 years. In addition to authoring some 350 research papers and three technical books, Rees has written many general articles on cosmology and its philosophical implications. His latest book, "Before the Beginning," argues that our universe is but one atom in a much larger multiverse.
Information as of 1998