Tuesday 13 April 2010

Life and the cosmos with Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees (via SlowTV)

Lord Martin Rees is UK Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society. He was also appointed to the House of Lords in 2005, is Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, and is the author of about 500 research papers and several books. I recently came across these videos of Lord Rees on SlowTV, a free internet TV channel delivering interviews, debates, conversations and public lectures about Australia's key political, social and cultural issues. It is produced by The Monthly and there is an impressive amount of science content. You can subscribe via podcast.

In the inaugural Derek Denton lecture in Science and the Arts at University of Melbourne, Lord Rees discussed current ideas on cosmology and how the universe evolved from a simple Big Bang to its present complexity. He also talked about the possibility of life elsewhere in the cosmos. I had quite an enjoyable afternoon listening to this talk in the background. It is clear why he is regarded as one of the world's foremost science communicators.

Part 1:

Part 2:

If you can't see the embedded videos, check out the talk at SlowTV. For more on the topics addressed in this talk, check out our Astronomy and Space and Science Communication tags, and particularly:
  • Astrobiology and the search for extraterrestrial life;
  • Astrobiology is a fascinating and complex field of science. It is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe, and is a relatively new field of science incorporating astronomy, biology, geology, palaeontology, physics, mathematics and other disciplines. I spoke to Dr Carol Oliver, a science communication researcher working for the Australian Centre for Astrobioligy, whose key goals include contributing to the understanding of the orgin of life on Earth and to set an Australian life-seeking instrument on the surface of Mars. 


  1. I was at that talk, as was KRudd, Mal Fraser, Barry Jones, etc. etc.... it was very good.

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