Martin Rees is a cosmologist and space scientist. He is based in Cambridge, where he has been Director of the Institute of Astronomy, a Research Professor, and Master of Trinity College. He was President of the Royal Society (the academy of science for UK and Commonwealth) during 2005-2010. In 2005 he was appointed to the UK’s House of Lords. He belongs to numerous foreign academies including those of the US, Russia, Japan and the Vatican and has received many international awards, including the Balzan, Crafoord, Bower, Gruber and Templeton prizes. He is the author of nine books including ‘Before the Beginning‘, ‘Just Six Numbers‘ and ‘Our Cosmic Habitat‘. In addition to his involvement in international science and policy, he has been concerned with the threats stemming from humanity’s ever-heavier’ footprint’ on the global environment, and with the runaway consequences of ever more powerful technologies. His most recent book ‘On the Future: Prospects for Humanity‘ addresses these issues.