Matt Ridley

The world has never been a better place to live in, and it will keep on getting better.
Matt Ridley’s books have sold over one million copies, been translated into 30 languages, short-listed for nine major literary prizes and won several awards. With BA and DPhil degrees from Oxford University, he 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 upon Tyne, England. He was non-executive chairman of Northern Rock plc and Northern 2 VCT plc. He also commissioned the Northumberlandia landform sculpture and country park in northeastern England. He currently writes the Mind and Matter column in The Wall Street Journal and writes regularly for the British newspaper The Times.

As Viscount Ridley, he was appointed 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 honourary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

His latest book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, argues that human beings are not only wealthier but also healthier, happier, cleaner, cleverer, kinder, freer, more peaceful and more equal than they have ever been. He argues this is because the source of human innovation is, and has been for 100,000 years, not individual inspiration through reason but collective intelligence evolving by trial and error resulting from the sharing of ideas through exchange and specialization. The secret to human prosperity is that everybody is working for everybody else.