Dr. Martin J. Rees

One of the world's leading theoretical astrophysics, Dr. Rees contributions to our understanding of the origin and nature of the universe have been exceptionally broad-based. Two decades ago, he showed how the anthropic principle could be used to determine most of the fundamental constants of physics. He has added to our knowledge about the birth of stars and galaxies, demonstrated how deep-space quasars, the highly energetic cores of active galaxies seen through the Hubble Space Telescope, might be powered by massive black holes, and expounded theories that explain the mysterious explosions known as gamma-ray "bursters." Dr. Rees has won more than a dozen major scientific awards, including the 2001 Peter Gruber Foundation Cosmology Prize. He is the author of several books for the lay audience, including Before the Beginning and Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape the Universe.