image of Martin Rees Martin Rees is Royal Society Research Professor at Cambridge University and Astronomer Royal. He obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. from Cambridge in 1967 and worked briefly in the United States. He was then a Professor at Sussex University before returning to Cambridge in 1973, as Plumian Professor of Astronomy. He held this post until 1992, and for nine years of that period also served as Director of the Institute of Astronomy. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a member of several other academies, including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Pontifical Academy. He has been President of the Royal Astronomical Society and the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He has held many visiting professorships in Europe and North America. His international awards include the Balzan International Prize and the Bower Award for Science of the Franklin Institute. His research interests are high energy astrophysics, cosmology, and space research. In addition to his scientific papers, he writes and lectures extensively for general audiences. His two most recent books, Gravity's Fatal Attraction (with M. Begelman) and Before the Beginning: Our Universe and Others, both appeared in paperback last year.