Wilfred Beckerman was born in 1925 and, after service in the Royal Navy 1943–46, graduated from Cambridge University in 1948 (Ph.D. in 1951). He is an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and an Honorary Visiting Professor of Economics at University College London, where he held the Chair in Political Economy from 1969–1975. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 1970–73, and a member of the Council and the Executive Committee of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, 1972–1995. He has published several books, and numerous articles in The Economic Journal, Economica, Econometrica, The Review of Economic Studies, Oxford Economic Papers, The Review of Economics and Statistics, and other journals. He has been a Visiting Professor at various Universities in France and the USA, and a consultant to the World Bank, the UN, the OECD and the ILO.