He also asked science correspondent
to look into the prospects for new missions to the moon and beyond and interviewed
Dr Christopher Chyba
, an advisor to President Obama, to try to discern the future of space exploration.
With climate change and other scientifically based policies so high on the political agenda, is it surprising that only 12 MPs have a scientific background? Lord Rees asked
political correspondent Norman Smith
to investigate if Parliament's lack of scientific knowledge damages its ability to make policy on such issues.
He was also interested to investigate the limits of choice in modern society. Could too much choice be a bad thing? Is our society prioritizing choice over other, perhaps more important, values?
Lord Rees commissioned philosopher
Baroness Onora O'Neill
to give her thoughts on the issue and personally debated one choice he believes to be an issue of "market failure" - the selection of
on display on supermarket shelves.
Concluding the issue, behavioural economist
Dan Ariely and David Halpern,
a former adviser to Tony Blair, debated the effect on society of widespread choice.
Finally, Lord Rees wanted to pay tribute to the role that dogs have played in the history of science. Reporter
investigated canine experiments over the years.
ABOUT THE GUEST EDITOR
Martin Rees is one of the world's leading astronomers. A professor of cosmology and astrophysics at Trinity College, Cambridge, he holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and is president of the Royal Society.
After an undergraduate degree in mathematics from Trinity college Cambridge, Rees went on to study in the UK and US before becoming a professor at Sussex University.
In 1973 he became Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge, where for 10 years he was the director of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy.
He is the author of more than 500 research papers on cosmological topics and seven books, and has received countless awards for his scientific contributions.
His research interests cover the entire cosmos, from gamma ray bursts to the early generation of stars and black hole formation.
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