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Cosmic man

Martin Rees, Britain’s leading cosmologist, studies stars. Neuropsychologists like me study brains. But we seem to find a shared wavelength on multiverses, aliens, climate change and science funding

By Paul Broks   March 2010

I arrive early at Carlton House Terrace, home of the Royal Society, and am ushered into the President’s Room. It’s like Dave Bowman entering the surreal hotel suite at the end of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The furniture and decor are earthly and familiar, with the faded elegance of an Oxbridge senior common room. But the scale is wrong. No one has an office this big back on Earth. Behind me, through the window, the virtual reality winter sky is dying over a simulacrum of St James’s Park. Martin Rees materialises to my left, teacup in hand, and settles his…

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