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Science writer, author, zoologist & Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences (UK)

Dr Matt Ridley is an award-winning zoologist, science writer and author who has published articles and reviews in numerous international newspapers and magazines, and written more than 10 books.

Matt is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (1999) and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2003). He holds an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Buckingham University, is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, an Honorary President, the International Centre for Life, has an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from Newcastle University and an Honorary Doctorate from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

In addition to writing a freelance weekly column for the Sunday Telegraph from 1993 to 1996 and the Daily Telegraph from 1996 to 2000, Matt has written for publications including The Times, Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, New Scientist, Prospect, New Statesman, Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Discover and Natural History.

He was the science correspondent, science and technology editor, Washington correspondent and American editor for The Economist between 1983 and 1992. He was co-founder and Chairman of the International Centre for Life at Newcastle upon Tyne (1996 to 2003), Director Northern Investors (1994 to 2007), Northern 2 VCT (1999 to 2008), Northern Rock (1994 to 2007) and Lycetts (1994 to 2003). Matt was educated at Eton College (1970 to 1975) and at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he achieved a BA 1st class in zoology and a DPhil in zoology (1983).

He has written 11 books, the most recent of which are The Rational Optimist (2010) and Francis Crick (2006). Others include Warts and All (1989), The Red Queen (1993) Down to Earth; Institute of Economic Affairs (1995), The Origins of Virtue (1996), Genome (1999) and Nature via Nurture (2003).


  • 1983–1992
    Science correspondent, science and technology editor, Washington correspondent and American editor, The Economist


  • 2003 
    Academy of Medical Sciences, Fellow
  • 1983 
    Magdalen College, Oxford, PhD zoology