Matt Ridley - Biography


Matt Ridley's books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 30 languages and won several awards. His TED talk "When Ideas Have Sex" has been viewed more than two million times.

He writes a weekly column in The Times and writes regularly for the Wall Street Journal.

As Viscount Ridley, he was elected to the House of Lords in February 2013.

He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is honorary president of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle.

He is married to the neuroscientist Professor Anya Hurlbert. They have two children and live at Blagdon in Northumberland in the north of England.

His latest book is The Evolution of Everything.

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by Peter Walton


by John Cogan


by John Watson


Detailed biography:

With BA and DPhil degrees from Oxford University, Matt Ridley worked for the Economist for nine years as science editor, Washington correspondent and American editor, before becoming a self-employed writer and businessman. He was founding chairman of the International Centre for Life in Newcastle. He was non-executive chairman of Northern Rock plc and Northern 2 VCT plc. He also commissioned the Northumberlandia landform sculpture and country park. He founded the Mind and Matter column in the Wall Street Journal and has been a weekly columnist for The Telegraph and The Times. He sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative and is a member of Science and Technology select committee. He won the Hayek Prize in 2011, the Julian Simon award in 2012 and the Free Enterprise Award from the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2014.

In his various books he has argued that:

Evolution consists of arms races in which you run to stay in the same place (The Red Queen)

Co-operation and virtue are just as deep rooted in human nature as selfishness (The Origins of Virtue)

Reading the genome makes us the first creature in 3 billion years to know its own recipe (Genome). Genome was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson prize.

Gene expression is at the mercy of experience, which explains why nature and nurture are indivisible (Nature via Nurture)

Francis Crick was instrumental in the discovery that life is a 4-letter code (Francis Crick)

Human living standards will continue rising thanks to ideas having sex (The Rational Optimist). The Rational Optimist was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson prize and

Human society changes more by evolutionary means than by command and control (The Evolution of Everything).

Please download and use any of the following photographs (excluding John Watson's image) and credit Peter Walton
or John Cogan. Images are licenced under CC-BY-SA-4.0.