• Lord Rees Vice Patron

    Royal Canadian Geographical Society CEO John Geiger and Society board Vice-President Wendy Cecil flank Lord Martin Rees as he accepts the role of Vice-Patron. (Photo: Can Geo)

As it celebrates its 90th anniversary, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is ramping up the “royal.”

On Dec. 5, 2019, Lord Martin Rees, the renowned cosmologist, astrophysicist and British Astronomer Royal since 1995, accepted the honorary position of Vice-Patron with the Society from its Chief Executive Officer John Geiger and board Vice-President Wendy Cecil in London, U.K. Rees also becomes an honorary RCGS Fellow.

The news comes seven months after Princess Anne was made an Honorary Fellow of the RCGS at St. James’s Palace in London, during an audience she had granted to Geiger.

Rees, 77, is a prominent science advocate in the U.K. and the author of seven books. He is an expert on black hole formation, extragalactic radio sources and his research has countered the Steady State theory of the evolution of the universe. He was also first to theorize the uneven distribution of matter in the universe, and is particularly knowledgable about the cosmic dark ages, the period following the Big Bang when there was no light in the universe. 

Rees was knighted in 1992 in recognition of his contributions to science and was elevated to the title of Baron Rees of Ludlow in 2005.

He joins the Honourable Nellie T. Kusugak, Commissioner of Nunavut, Sir Christopher Ondaatje, and the Right Honourable John Turner, former Prime Minister, as Vice-Patrons of the Society.