George F. R. Ellis—a prominent theoretical cosmologist, a Quaker and an active opponent of apartheid during its rule in South Africa—has won the 2004 Templeton Prize. Ellis becomes the latest scientist to win the $1.4 million prize that its founder, U.S.-born investor Sir John Templeton, has stipulated be the largest annual monetary prize given to an individual outside the sports world.
The John Templeton Foundation says its mission “is to pursue new insights at the boundary between theology and science . . . drawing together talented representatives from a wide spectrum of fields of expertise.” Ellis, 64, a professor of applied mathematics at the University of Cape Town, was honored for his “bold and innovative” contributions to ongoing scientific and religious contacts.