Matt Ridley

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Matthew White Ridley (born 7 February 1958, in Northumberland) is an English journalist, writer, and businessman.



Ridley was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, where he received a doctorate in zoology before commencing a career in journalism. Ridley worked as the science editor of The Economist from 1984 to 1987 and was then its Washington correspondent from 1987 to 1989 and American editor from 1990 to 1992.[1][2]

Ridley was non-executive chairman of the UK bank Northern Rock from 2004 to 2007, in the period leading up to the bank's near-collapse.

He was the first chairman of the International Centre for Life, a science park devoted to life sciences in Newcastle, and he served in this position for seven years. He formerly had been a governor of the Ditchley Foundation, which organises conferences at its stately home in Oxfordshire.[3] He is a distinguished supporter of the British Humanist Association.[4]


He is the author of several works of popular science:

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, Alice meets the Red Queen who runs everywhere but stays in the same place. This book champions a Red Queen theory for the evolution of sexual reproduction: that it was invented to keep changing the genetic locks so as to remain one step ahead of constantly mutating parasites. The Red Queen also addresses dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture – including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and why the human brain may be like the peacock’s tail – a seduction device.

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