George F. R. Ellis, professor of applied mathematics emeritus at the University of Cape Town (UCT), is as widely respected for his anti-apartheid Quaker activism as for his contributions to cosmology. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and educated in Natal and at UCT, where he received his baccalaureate degree with distinction, he earned his Ph.D. in applied mathematics and theoretical physics at Cambridge University in 1964. He became a research fellow at Peterhouse College, Cambridge, and then was a university lecturer in applied mathematics and theoretical physics before joining the UCT faculty as a full professor in 1974. Dr. Ellis also served as a professor of cosmic physics at the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, for five years and has been a visiting professor at the University of Chicago, the University of Hamburg, Boston University, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Alberta. He is currently G. C. McVittie Visiting Professor of Astronomy at Queen Mary, University of London, and lectures throughout the world. His scientific work on the mathematical foundations of general relativity and cosmology is recognized for its depth, originality, and wit. He studies fundamental questions like the geometrical structure of the universe and has not been afraid to challenge conventional assumptions about how our universe began and is built. In his alternative model to the violent Big Bang, the Whimper model, all starts with Quaker gentleness. In the bleak South Africa of the 1970’s and 1980’s, he used knowledge both as a weapon and a shield against violence and injustice. During the past several decades, he has been deeply involved in race relations, housing policy, and the future of the scientific enterprise of his country. Dr. Ellis, a fellow of the Royal Society, has served as president of the Royal Society of South Africa (RSSA) and of the International Society of General Relativity and Gravitation. He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the RSSA, UCT, and the Third World Academy of Sciences. Winner of the 2004 Templeton Prize, his many other awards include the Herschel Medal of the Royal Society of South Africa, the Claude Harris Leon Foundation Achievement Award, the Gold Medal of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, the Star of South Africa Medal, which was presented to him in 1999 by President Nelson Mandela, the National Science and Technology Forum Award for lifetime contributions to cosmology, the Academy of Science of South Africa Science-for-Society Gold Medal, and the Order of Mapungubwe, which was conferred on him by South African President Thabo Mbeki in 2006. Dr. Ellis holds honorary degrees from Haverford College, the University of Natal, Queen Mary (London University), and the University of Cape Town. He serves as co-editor-in-chief of the international Journal of General Relativity and Gravitation. Co-author with Stephen W. Hawking of The Large Scale Structure of Space Time (1973), which quickly became a standard reference work, he has published more than three hundred scientific papers and eight other major books. His latest studies are (with John Wainwright) The Dynamical Systems Approach to Cosmology (1996), (with Nancey Murphy) On the Moral Nature of the Universe: Theology, Cosmology, and Ethics (1996), (with Peter Coles) Is the Universe Open or Closed? The Density of Matter in the Universe (1997), and (with Roy Maartens and Malcolm MacCallum) Relativistic Cosmology (forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2010) in addition to three edited volumes, The Far-Future Universe: Eschatology from a Cosmic Perspective (2002), (with Nancey Murphy and Timothy O’Connor) Downward Causation and the Neurobiology of Free Will (2009), and (with Jeff Murugan and Amanda Weltmann) The Nature of Space and Time: Reflections on Quantum Gravity, which will be published by Cambridge University Press later this year.