Lord Rees to be awarded honorary doctorate at the School’s 2011 graduation ceremony

Thursday 16 June 2011

The Rt Hon Professor Martin Rees, Lord Rees of Ludlow, OM FRS will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Literature honoris causa at the School of Advanced Study’s graduation ceremony on Friday 9 December 2011.

This honour recognises a lifetime of academic achievement by Lord Rees. He is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics in the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge since 2004. In August 2005, he was appointed to the House of Lords as a non-party political peer, taking the title Lord Rees of Ludlow, and in December 2005 became President of the Royal Society. He is a graduate of Trinity and was previously an Honorary Fellow of the College.

Professor Roger Kain CBE FBA, Dean and Chief Executive of the School of Advanced Study said “I am delighted that the School is honoring Lord Rees’ distinguished academic career. Although Lord Rees is especially noted for his work and achievements in the field of science, as President of the Royal Society he has been a regular and public advocate of the importance of the humanities and social sciences and it is that which makes conferring the honorary degree at the SAS graduation ceremony particularly appropriate, especially given the School’s multidisciplinary character.”

Lord Rees, on hearing of this award, said: “I am naturally pleased and honoured to be receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of London and it is a special distinction for me, as a scientist, to become a doctor of literature”.

Notes for editors:

1.For further information please contact Dee Burn­ at the School of Advanced Study, University of London atdee.burn@sas.ac.uk " title="link to email"> dee.burn@sas.ac.uk / 020 7862 8670 / 07900 401 240.
2.The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and facilitation of research in the humanities and social sciences. The School brings together ten prestigious research institutes to offer academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. The member institutes of the School are the Institutes of Advanced Legal Studies, Classical Studies, Commonwealth Studies, English Studies, Germanic & Romance Studies, Historical Research, Musical Research, Philosophy, Study of the Americas, and the Warburg Institute. The School also hosts a cross-disciplinary centre, the Human Rights Consortium, dedicated to the facilitation, promotion and dissemination of academic and policy work on human rights. www.sas.ac.uk
3.Lord Rees has previously held postdoctoral positions in the UK and the USA and has taught at Sussex University and the University of Cambridge. From 1992 until 2003, he was Royal Society Research Professor. He was Professor of Astronomy at Gresham College in London in 1975 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1979. He holds Visiting Professorships at Imperial College London and at the University of Leicester and has received honorary doctorates from several universities including Melbourne, Oxford, Uppsala and Yale, and several international prizes. Professor Rees is the author of over 500 research papers and he has made important contributions to the origin of cosmic microwave background radiation, as well as to galaxy clustering and formation. His studies of the distribution of quasars led to final disproof of Steady State theory. He is also a well-respected author of books on astronomy and science intended for the lay public. In 2010 he was chosen to deliver the Reith Lectures for the BBC and in 2011 he was awarded the Templeton Prize. Professor Rees has previously served as Trustee of the British Museum and is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Public Policy Research and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.