Sir Martin Rees, an authority on astrophysics and cosmology, will present "Einstein's Legacy as Scientist and Icon" on Friday, May 6, at 6:00 p.m. in Wolfensohn Hall on the campus of the Institute for Advanced Study. This special event is part of the Institute's 75th Anniversary year, in which it celebrates its founding, as well as the centenary of Albert Einstein's annus mirabilis.
Sir Martin Rees is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at Cambridge University. He and holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society, whose Council has nominated him to serve as its President from November 2005. Sir Martin currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Advanced Study.
2005 marks the centenary of Einstein's annus mirabilis, when he published his seminal papers on Special Relativity, Brownian motion and the photoelectric effect. This is being celebrated around the world -- by physicists who celebrate the insights of the young Einstein and the discoveries that have stemmed from them, as well as by the non-scientific community, which honors the mature Einstein of the Princeton years, who became an icon of creativity and an inspiration for campaigners against nuclear proliferation. Among other scientists, perhaps only Darwin has achieved such broad cultural resonance; Darwin was utterly different in intellectual style, but was, like Einstein, engaged in a quest for 'origins' and for unifying concepts. What are the challenges that face 'new Einsteins' in the 21st century? And what is the social role of scientists in a world where the impact of research is broader than ever?
Sir Martin Rees received his Ph.D. in 1967 from Cambridge University and held post-doctoral positions in the UK and the United States before becoming a professor at Sussex University. In 1973, he became a fellow of King's College and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge (continuing in the latter post until 1991), and served for ten years as director of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. From 1992 to 2003, he was a Royal Society Research Professor, and was named Astronomer Royal in 1995. Sir Martin was appointed Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2004.
His awards include: the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society; the Balzan International Prize; the Bruce Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific; the Heineman Prize for Astrophysics (AAS/AIP); the Bower Award for Science of the Franklin Institute; the Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation; the Einstein Award of the World Cultural Council; and the Crafoord Prize (Royal Swedish Academy). He is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy, and several other foreign academies. He has been president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1994-95) and the Royal Astronomical Society (1992-94) and a trustee of the British Museum, NESTA and the Kennedy Memorial Trust. He is the author or co-author of about 500 research papers, mainly on astrophysics and cosmology, as well as seven books (five for general readership), and numerous magazine and newspaper articles on scientific and general subjects.
For further information about this event, which is free and open to the public, please call (609) 734-8203.