Matt Ridley

Matt Ridley

Formal First Name
Matthew (Matt)
1958 - present

Matthew Ridley, 5th Viscount Ridley, is a bestselling author of several thought-provoking books on evolution, genetics and society. He is also a scientist and journalist who champions the potential for human progress, and an expert speaker on innovation, collaboration, and macro-history. Previously, Matt joined the House of Lords and served on the science and technology select committee and the artificial intelligence select committee. He also discussed climate change and advocated for the “Brexit” campaign to leave the European Union. His books have sold over 1 million copies, been translated into 31 languages, been short-listed for 9 major literary prizes and won several awards. Matt has also written for The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, the Times, The Guardian, New Scientist, New Statesman, Time, Newsweek and The New York Times.


  • He worked for The Economist as a science editor, Washington correspondent and American editor.

  • He was Founding Chairman of the International Center for Life in New Castle, and Non-Executive Chairman of Northern Rock and Northern 2 VCT.

  • He created the Mind of Matter column in the Wall Street Journal and was a columnist for The Times for 5 years.


  • Matt spoke at TEDGlobal 2010, and showed how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating to make new ideas.

  • His TED talk has over 2 million views.


  • 2014 Free Enterprise Award, Institute of Economic Affairs

  • 2012 Julian Simon Award

  • 2011 Hayek Prize

  • Fellow, Royal Society of Literature

  • Fellow, Academy of Medical Sciences


  • How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom (2020)

  • The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge (2015)

  • Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters (2013)

  • Francis Crick: Discoverer of the Genetic Code (Eminent Lives) (2012)

  • The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture (2012)

  • The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature (2012)

  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (P.S.)  (2010)