George F. R. Ellis


George F. R.

Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, University of Cape Town


George has an impressive academic career and is considered as one of the world’s leading theorists in cosmology. However, his research involves many more aspects than just a cosmological perspective. He is engaged in the relation between human emotion and brain plasticity, the nature of social indicators, and even in low-income housing. The debate between philosophers and physicists prompted him to take a critical position towards overly reductionist physicists. His work consists of more than five hundred articles, sixteen books, and numerous book chapters for which he was awarded several honorary degrees. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society, London (FRS). Besides this, he received the John F. W. Herschel Medal of the Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA), the Templeton Prize in 2004, and as a special honor, Nelson Mandela awarded him the Order of the Star of South Africa in 1999.

At THE NEW INSTITUTE George is working on themes related to "The Human Condition in the 21st Century".

  • What gives you hope?
    The goodness of so many people.

  • How does change happen?
    By developing thoughtful analysis and plans, and then determined action, to put them into practice.

  • Why have you joined TNI?
    To work with an innovative team of thinkers with similar concerns and outlooks.


Relativistic Cosmology (with Roy Maartens and Malcolm A. H. MacCallum), 2012

Dynamical Systems in Cosmology (ed., with John Wainwright), 1997

On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics (with Nancey C. Murphy), 1996

Low Income Housing Policy in South Africa (with David Dewar), 1979

The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time (with Stephen Hawking), 1973

George Ellis on "What Exists?", interviewed by Robert L. Kuhn on Closer To Truth. George regards two kinds of possibility spaces the deep structure of the Universe; the physical ones and the abstract ones.

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