George F. R. Ellis is as widely respected for his antiapartheid Quaker activism as for his contributions to cosmology. He is professor emeritus of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town and a world-renowned lecturer. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. The many prizes he has been awarded include the Star of South Africa Medal, which was presented to him in 1999 by President Nelson Mandela and the Templeton Prize. Coauthor with Stephen W. Hawking of The Large Scale Structure of Space Time (1973), he has also written more than three hundred scientific papers and eight major books.
He is interested in the science-religion field overall, and took part in the Vatican Observatory/CTNS series of workshops. His views are set out in his book On the Moral Nature of the Universe.