The Martin Ryle Trust (MRT) is a Registered Charity whose object is to fund scientific research and education on any aspects of reducing violence between states. This covers a wide range of problems in the natural and the social sciences.
Sir Martin Ryle (1918-1984), FRS, Astronomer Royal, Nobel Laureate, was a physicist and radio astronomer, who also possessed an exceptional talent for engineering. During the Second World War he played an important part in the development and use of radar, working mainly on countermeasures. Like many scientists involved in that war, he subsequently turned with relief to academic research. Building on his radar experience, he became a pioneer in the development of radio astronomy. His most important innovation was the invention and development of aperture synthesis, whereby a few small moveable radio antennae simulate an enormous radio telescope.
From the mid-70s his concerns about the nuclear arms race and the misuse of science came to the fore. Towards the Nuclear Holocaust was published by the Menard Press in 1981. It combines factual information, analysis of the social and political condition of the world and a passionate call for rectification of
this incredible situation. Ryle considered that nuclear power was irredeemably connected with nuclear weapons, via the production of plutonium. He used his engineering skill to analyse, develop and promote wind power. He became increasingly concerned with the moral dilemmas that scientists ought to face up to:
… we should strive to see how the vast resources now diverted towards the destruction of life are turned instead to the solution of the problems which both rich - but especially the poor - countries of the world now face.
Ryle was not concerned only with nuclear and energy questions. He also declared:
The benefits of medical research are real - but so are the potential horrors of genetic engineering and embryo manipulation. We devise heart transplants, but do little for the 15 million who die annually of malnutrition and related diseases. Our cleverness has grown prodigiously - but not our wisdom.
The Trustees and Administrator
- manage the Trust's funds
- raise further income
- are proactive in identifying projects they wish the Trust to support
- monitor the effectiveness of their project support.
- The military dimensions of science and technology, especially military research and alternative concepts of security
- Career choices made by scientists and engineers
- The production of educational resources on the ethical aspects of science and technology
- The importance of openness in the constructive application of science
- The impacts of new science and technology - for example on the global environment.
- 2016 lecture: Islam and the West - Sir Michael Atiyah
- 2017 lecture: The Business Plan for Peace - Dr Scilla Elworthy
- 2018 lecture: Research and the Public Good - Sir Paul Nurse
The Martin Ryle Trustees believe that Ryle's message and the object of the MRT are as necessary now as ever. Please help the MRT to further its aims.
- Make a donation today. Your contribution will further progress on the projects which the MRT is supporting. If you are a UK taxpayer the MRT can recover tax on your donation. This increases the benefit to the MRT significantly, at no extra cost to you.
- Consider a bequest to the Martin Ryle Trust. Download pdf form [1MB]
Charity Registration No. 327946