Baylor Free Enterprise Forum Welcomes Award-Winning Journalist and Science Writer to Discuss Innovation

November 3, 2021

Matt Ridley, D.Phil., award-winning journalist and science writer (photo by Peter Walton)

Media Contact: Eric Eckert, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-1964
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by Lexi Nitishin, student news writer, Baylor University Media and Public Relations

WACO, Texas (Nov. 3, 2021) – Matt Ridley, D.Phil., award-winning journalist and science writer, will be the featured speaker at the Free Enterprise Forum at Baylor University’s Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, hosted by the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise on Thursday, Nov. 4. This event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at 5:15 p.m. in Foster 240.

Holding both a bachelor’s and doctoral degree from Oxford University, Ridley worked for the Economist for nine years as a science editor, American editor and Washington correspondent, before becoming a self-employed writer and businessman.

He writes a weekly column in The Times (London) and writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal. As Viscount Ridley, he was elected to the House of Lords in February 2013.

His books have sold over a million copies, been translated into 31 languages and won several awards. They include “The Red Queen,” “The Origins of Virtue,” “Genome,” “Nature via Nurture,” “Francis Crick,” “The Rational Optimist” and “The Evolution of Everything”.

His newest book “How Innovation Works: And Why It Flourishes in Freedom,” which he will discuss at the forum, argues that we need to change the way we think about innovation. He wrote that innovation needs to be seen as an incremental, bottom-up, fortuitous process that happens to society as a direct result of the human habit of exchange, rather than an orderly, top-down process developing according to a plan.

“Innovation is central to the mission of Baylor, the Hankamer School of Business and the Department of Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation, which houses the Free Enterprise program. Ridley will focus on the social and institutional preconditions of innovation, an important topic not only for those who participate directly in innovation, but for all of us as citizens,” said Peter Klein, Ph.D., W. W. Caruth Endowed Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship.

In addition to his other works, Ridley won the Hayek Prize in 2011, the Julian Simon Award in 2012 and the Free Enterprise Award from the Institute of Economic Affairs in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Academy of Medical Sciences and a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“The Free Enterprise program at Baylor is particularly interested in innovation and entrepreneurship which makes his talk an excellent fit,” Klein said.

The event, co-sponsored by the Department of Economics in the Hankamer School of Business, is free and open to the public.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


At Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, top-ranked programs combine rigorous classroom learning, hands-on experience in the real world, a solid foundation in Christian values and a global outlook. Making up approximately 25 percent of the University’s total enrollment, undergraduate students choose from 16 major areas of study. Graduate students choose from full-time, executive or online MBA or other specialized master’s programs, and Ph.D. programs in Information Systems, Entrepreneurship or Health Services Research. The Business School also has campuses located in Austin and Dallas, Texas. Visit for more information.