He was educated at the University of Cambridge and has worked as a lecturer in psychology at the University of Exeter, as a professor of psychology at the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, and as a professor of psychology the University of Ulster.
Lynn has written several books as well as numerous academic papers several of which have been published in the prestigious journal Nature. He sits on the editorial boards of the journals Intelligence, Personality and Individual differences, and Mankind Quarterly. He also sits on the board of the Pioneer Fund.
The (Lynn-)Flynn effect
Lynn in 1982 published a paper in Nature showing that the average IQ of Japan had increased substantially over several decades. This rise was later demonstrated in several other countries by Jim Flynn and named the Flynn effect. It has been argued that the effect should be called the "Lynn-Flynn effect" since it was first discovered by Lynn.
Race and intelligence
Lynn's studies on racial IQ differences were cited in the 1994 book The Bell Curve and were criticized as part of the controversy surrounding that book.
His article, "Skin color and intelligence in African Americans" (2002) states that lightness of skin color in African-Americans is positively correlated with IQ, which he argues derives from the higher proportion of Caucasian admixture.
Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen has written the books IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002) and IQ and Global Inequality (2006) which reviewed earlier worldwide IQ testing and based on this calculated the average IQa of the world's countries. The found differences were argued to have many important consequences.
Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis (2006) also reviewed earlier IQ testing and calculated average IQs for different races. It argued for evolutionary explanations for the different average IQs. The Global Bell Curve: Race, IQ, and Inequality Worldwide (2008), named after The Bell Curve, argued that the differences in racial IQ explain many social differences and racial hierarchies worldwide.
Sex differences in intelligence
Lynn and Paul Irwing found in two meta-analyses (2004, 2005) that in the general population men have a higher IQs than women by 5 IQ points. In university students the difference is 4.6 IQ points.
Reaction time, brain size, and IQ
Lynn has published several papers showing that IQ is related to brain size and reaction time.
Dysgenics and eugenics
In Dysgenics: Genetic Deterioration in Modern Populations (1996, second revised edition 2011) and Eugenics: A Reassessment (2001) Lynn reviews these areas and argues that the condemnation of eugenics in the second half of the 20th century went too far. He argues the eugenic objectives of eliminating genetic diseases, increasing intelligence, and reducing personality disorders, remain desirable. He argues that Western countries are currently undergoing a dysgenic trend due to factors such as immigration of races with low average IQ as well as due to people with high IQ having few children.
The Pioneer Fund
Lynn has been a grantee of the Pioneer Fund. He now sits on the board. He has written the book The Science of Human Diversity: A History of the Pioneer Fund
- Richard Lynn
- Evolution of race and sex differences in intelligence and personality: Tribute to Richard Lynn at eighty
- "A World of Difference: Richard Lynn Maps World Intelligence" A review of Richard Lynn's 'Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis'. Jason Malloy, Gene Expression, February 01, 2006.
- Book Review: Lynn Richard, Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis. J. Phillipe Rushton, Personality and Individual Differences, in press, 2005.
- "'Men cleverer than women' claim: Academics in the UK claim their research shows that men are more intelligent than women.", BBC, Aug. 25, 2005.
- "Call for re-think on eugenics", BBC, April 26, 2002.
Effort to strip Richard Lynn of professor emeritus status
- Richard Lynn's webpage. http://www.rlynn.co.uk/
- See each journals webpage: , , 
- Lynn, R. (1982). "IQ in Japan and the United States shows a growing disparity". Nature 297 (5863): 222–223. doi:10.1038/297222a0.
- Rushton, J. P. (1999). "Secular Gains in IQ Not Related to the g Factor and Inbreeding Depression—Unlike Black-White Differences: A Reply to Flynn" (PDF). Personality and Individual Difference 26 (2): 381–9. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(98)00148-2.
- Gottfredson, Linda. Mainstream Science on Intelligence. p A18. Wall Street Journal on December 13, 1994. http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/1997mainstream.pdf
- Skin color and intelligence in African Americans. Population and Environment, 2002, 23, 365-375. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/klu/poen/2002/00000023/00000004/00368072
- Richard Lynn. Race Differences, Immigration, And The Twilight of the European Peoples. May 20, 2009 at 1:00am. Vdare.com http://www.vdare.com/articles/race-differences-immigration-and-the-twilight-of-the-european-peoples