Founders Day Lecture: Planets, life and the universe

Lord Rees of Ludlow will be talking at the University of Bath about the history of the universe at the Founders Day Lecture on Wednesday 4 April 2012.

The Founders Day Lecture provides an opportunity to hear an excellent and eminent speaker as we mark 46 years since our foundation.

Astronomers have made astonishing progress in probing the cosmic environment. They can trace cosmic history from a mysterious 'beginning' nearly 14 billion years ago, and understand in outline the emergence of atoms, galaxies, stars and planets and how, on at least one planet, life emerged and developed a complex biosphere of which we are a part.

But these advances pose new questions: What does the long-range future hold? How widespread is life in our cosmos? Should we be surprised that physical laws permitted the emergence of complexity? Is physical reality even more extensive than the domain that our telescopes can probe?

This illustrated lecture will attempt to address such issues.

Lord Rees has been Astronomer Royal since 1995 and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge since 2004. He was nominated to the House of Lords in 2005 as a cross-bench peer and was President of the Royal Society between 2005 and 2010.

Lord Rees' current research deals with cosmology and astrophysics, including black hole formation and cosmic structure formation, especially the early generation of stars and galaxies that formed relatively shortly after the Big Bang.

He has authored or co-authored around five hundred research papers. He has lectured, broadcast and written widely on science and policy, and is the author of seven books for a general readership.

This event is now fully booked.

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