Tim Radford was born in New Zealand in 1940 and educated at Sacred Heart College, Auckland. He joined the New Zealand Herald as a reporter at 16, and moved to the United Kingdom in 1961. Apart from a brief spell as a Whitehall information officer, he has spent all his life in weekly, evening or daily newspapers. He worked for The Guardian for 32 years, becoming – among other things – letters editor, arts editor, literary editor and science editor. He has also written for Nature, The Lancet, New Scientist, the London Review of Books, Geographical and many other journals. He has contributed chapters to several academic books, written two books – The Crisis of Life on Earth (1990) and The Address Book: our place in the scheme of things (2011) – and edited two books of science writing for the Guardian. He is married with two children, one grandchild and one great grandchild.