The Martin Rees reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Martin Rees

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Sir Martin John Rees (born June 23, 1942) has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge since 2004. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, he studied in the US before taking a professorship at Sussex University. Returning to Cambridge, he held the post of Plumian Professor until 1991 and was director of the Institute of Astronomy there. He was knighted in 1992 and won the Bruce Medal in 1993. Rees is the 2004 winner of the Henry Norris Russell Lectureship of the American Astronomical Society.

In a career that has seen him publish over 500 research papers, he has made important contributions in the origin of the cosmic microwave background, as well as galaxy clustering and formation. His studies of the distribution of quasars proved a strong argument against the steady state theory, and he was one of the first to propose that enormous black holes power the quasars. He is also a well-respected and popular publicist of astronomy and science in general.

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"Once the threshold is crossed when there is a self-sustaining level of life in space, then life's long-range future will be secure irrespective of any of the risks on Earth (with the single exception of the catastrophic destruction of space itself). Will this happen before our technical civilisation disintegrates, leaving this as a might-have-been? Will the self-sustaining space communities be established before a catastrophe sets back the prospect of any such enterprise, perhaps foreclosing it for ever? We live at what could be a defining moment for the cosmos, not just for our Earth." ~ Our Final Hour by Martin Rees

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