Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, "From Big Bang to Biospheres"
April 11, 2011 | School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 112 South Michigan Ave., MacLean Ballroom | 6:00 PM
Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal
Martin Rees is Master of Trinity College, Cambridge and holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal. He was previously Director of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge, and has lectured widely in the US, Europe and the Far East. His research interests include cosmology, galaxy formation, black holes and 'high energy' phenomena in the universe As well as his research publications, he is the author of eight books, and numerous articles on scientific and general subjects. He is a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy, and several other foreign academies. He is a member of the UK's House of Lords, and recently completed a five-year term as President of the Royal Society (the UK's national science academy).
2010-2011 Brinson Lecture: "From Big Bang to Biospheres"
Moderated by Gabriel Spitzer, WBEZ
Astronomers have made astonishing progress in probing our cosmic environment, thanks to advanced technology. We can trace cosmic history back to some mysterious 'beginning' nearly 14 billion years ago, and understand in outline the emergence of atoms, galaxies, stars and planets -- and how, on at least one planet, life developed a complex biosphere of which we are part. But these advances pose new questions: What does the long-range future hold? How widespread is life in our cosmos? Should we be surprised that the physical laws permitted the emergence of complexity? and Is physical reality even more extensive than the domain that our telescopes can probe? This illustrated lecture will address (but not answer!) such questions.
This event is co-sponsored by the University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.