Matt Ridley is an English science writer, journalist, zoologist and businessman. He was born in Northumberland, in the North East of England, in 1958. Ridley is most famous for his books, which mainly focus on evolution and genetics, but he has also written for the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, the Times, the Guardian, New Scientist, New Statesman, Time, Newsweek, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. In 1983, he joined the Economist as science correspondent and, by 1992, he had worked his way up through the ranks (becoming science and technology editor and then Washington correspondent) until 1992, when he held the position of American editor.
Ridley was educated at Eton College and went on to study zoology at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first. He stayed on at Oxford to complete his zoology doctorate in 1983. He has an honourary Doctorate of Science from Buckingham University 2003  He is the nephew of the former Conservative Party politician Nicholas Ridley 
He has held directorships at Northern Investors (1994-present) and the International Centre for Life, in Newcastle, (1996-2003). Ridley is former chairman of Northern Rock Plc (2004-2007) and Northern 2 Venture (1999-present).
Climate expertise unclear
It is unclear what expertise Mr. Ridley has developed that leaves him more qualified to assess climate science than 97% of actively publishing climate scientists.
2011 "skeptic bingo" denier speech
A speech Ridley gave in 2011 was "a textbook Gish Gallop, full of false claims, logical fallacies, and trivially true but irrelevant “facts”. It was...“skeptic” bingo", reported the host of the blog The Way Things Break; he characterized Ridley as "a techno-optimist of the Lomborgian mold", and debunked a few of Ridley's claims, noting inconsistencies and errors like:
- "Ridley wants us to know that the climate changed rapidly in the past- but yet we’re also supposed to believe that climate sensitivity is very small. He also flubs basic concepts- equilibrium sensitivity is not the same thing as transient sensitivity..."
Northern Rock bank failure
The failure of Northern Rock was the first run on a British Bank since 1878. Under his chairmanship, the bank pursued what the Treasury select committee later described as a "high-risk, reckless business strategy". MPs identified the directors of Northern Rock as "the principal authors of the difficulties that the company has faced". They singled Ridley out for having failed "to provide against the risks that [Northern Rock] was taking and to act as an effective restraining force on the strategy of the executive members".
- Warts and All; Penguin, 1989
- The Red Queen; Penguin, 1993
- Down to Earth; Institute of Economic Affairs, 1995
- Down to Earth II; Institute of Economic Affairs, 1996
- The Origins of Virtue; Penguin, 1996
- The future of disease; Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1997
- Genome; 4th Estate, 1999
- Best American Science Writing (editor); Harper Collins 2002
- Nature via Nurture; Harper Collins, 2003
- Francis Crick; Harper Collins, 2006
- The Rational Optimist, 2010
Prizes and awards
- Welch Prize for best zoology degree, Oxford University 1979
- Glaxo science writer’s award for best science article1983
- Aventis prize for science books (short-listed four times)
- Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction (short-listed) 2000
- Los Angeles Times Book Award (short-listed) 2001
- National Academies Book Award 2004
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (1999)
- Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2003)
- Visiting Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (2002)
- Honorary doctorate of science, Buckingham University
- Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford
- Honorary President, the International Centre for Life
- "The Genome Changes Eveything": A Talk with Matt Ridley http://www.edge.org/video/dsl/ridley.html
- Matt Ridley's climate science based on weak foundations http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/04/matt-ridleys-argument-based-on-weak-foundations
- Interview on Massive Change Radio in January 2004 http://www.renegademedia.info/media/radio-mp3/Matt_Ridley.mp3
- "We've never had it so good - and it's all thanks to science" - article in the Guardian, April 3, 2003 http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/opinion/story/0,12981,928170,00.html
- Matt Ridley's website http://www.mattridley.co.uk/
- Biography and video for the Edge Foundation http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/ridley.html
- Howard Friel, "Serial Mistake-Makers on Climate Change: On Bjorn Lomborg and Matt Ridley", Znet, June 14, 2010.
- From George Monbiot:
- Matt Ridley's Rational Optimist is telling the rich what they want to hear (2010)
- Ridleyed With Errors (June 2010)
- The Man Who Wants to Northern Rock the Planet (June 2010)
- Libertarians are the True Social Parasites (October 2007)
Resources and articles
- Matt Ridley's CV, from his website
- Matt Ridley's climate science based on weak foundations - Carbon Brief, April 2011
- Ridley climate quotes vs science, from Skeptical Science
- From Skeptical Science, July-Aug 2011:
- House of Lords Profile http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/viscount-ridley/4272
- Things Break (pseudonym) (2011-11-03). Matt Ridley needs to take some advice from Matt Ridley. The Way Things Break. Retrieved on 2011-11-03.
- Fifth Report. House of Commons - Treasury (2008-01-26(?)). Retrieved on 2011-11-03. “The period from Friday 14 September 2007 to Monday 17 September saw the first run on the retail deposits of a United Kingdom bank since Victorian times. We analyse the causes and consequences of the run on Northern Rock, and the lessons to be learnt from it. We emphasise the advantages of legislative change on a cross-party basis and make proposals for such change, and for reforms of the Tripartite arrangements, on that basis.”
- George Monbiot (2010-05-31). This state-hating free marketeer ignores his own failed experiment. The Guardian. Retrieved on 2011-11-03.