George Ellis is a South African theoretical physicist who is considered to be a world leader in relativity and cosmology. The book he co-wrote with Stephen Hawking, The Large Scale Structure of Space–Time (1973), examined general relativity theory that was first investigated by Einstein. He pioneered a study to classify anisotropic solutions of Einstein’s equations, and formalised the analysis of observables in cosmology.
He is an active Quaker, and makes important contributions to the dialogue about science and theology. George advocates the balancing of evidence-based science with faith and hope in order to accurately understand the Universe. In 2004, he was awarded the Templeton Prize for his exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.
George has written and lectured extensively on complexity theory, philosophical issues and social problems, and was a high-profile anti-apartheid campaigner. Almost 20 of his 500 published articles have appeared in the prestigious journal Nature. He was awarded the Order of the Star of South Africa by Nelson Mandela in 1999.
Interest and expertise
Applied mathematics and theoretical physics
Astronomy and physics
Public understanding of science, Science education at secondary level, Science policy