This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


Templeton caption competition

Templeton Prize HRH & Martin Rees.jpg
Martin Rees picks up the Templeton Prize from Prince Philip
(Courtesy: Clifford Shirley)

By Michael Banks

Can you guess what these two are saying to each other?

The photo, which was taken yesterday, shows the cosmologist Martin Rees from Cambridge University picking up the 2011 Templeton Prize at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Rees was presented with the gong, which comes with a cheque for a whopping £1m, by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in a private ceremony that was also attended by seven former Templeton winners, including Paul Davis and George Ellis.

Yesterday also happened to be Prince Philip’s 90th birthday.

According to the Templeton Foundation, the prize is awarded for “progress toward research or discoveries about spiritual realities”.

The 68-year-old cosmologist was awarded it for his “profound insights” into the nature of the cosmos that have “provoked vital questions that address mankind’s deepest hopes and fears”.

There was some controversy around Rees being awarded the prize. Indeed, he told me he was “surprised” on hearing he had won and that he usually tries to avoid discussing science and religion with his views being “rather boring”.

There is not a £1m prize on offer from us, but readers – can you guess what is being said between Rees (right) and Prince Philip in our caption competition?

If we have some funny submissions then we may be able to dig out a prize for the best one.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile


  1. Graham Bone

    HRH: So let me get this right; the idea was new matter is formed in between two galaxies as they move apart!

  2. Michael Banks

    Here are a few early suggestions from the Physics World Facebook page:
    “Can you lend me a bob or two, I’ve just had to help pay for a wedding?”
    “Thanks for your b’day wishes, but the King of cosmos deserves more than my 90 princely gifts!”

  3. Russell Seitz

    HH : So how’dya find the templeton ?
    No money in atheons, sir,so I decided to look for an eleemosynary resonance of the Gaga particle to go with the faith hope and charity quarks.


    HH: Congratulations Sir Martin. Here’s one in the eye for Richard Dawkins.
    Rees: Richard Who??

  5. David Tyler

    “I see an almost complete disjunction between the science I do and any religious views I have – but in a multiverse, any improbable event becomes possible!”

  6. HRH: Well. What d’you think Marty? Found this little so-and-so scuttling around amongst all those Higgs Bosons and what-not in back of dear old Mama-in-Laws drink’s cabinet. We called it the ‘Black Hole’ y’know.
    Prof R: Should make a good target for the LHC then!

  7. jack schwellenbach

    HRH: Cosmology, doesn’t that have something to do with cutting hair and polishing nails?

  8. Jack Lass

    Well Your Highness, for a million quid I’d say I believe in Santa Claus.

  9. Tom Sullivan

    Thanks for the medal. But help! It’s so heavy I’m falling over!

  10. “So who did you marry to get your job?”


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text