Pearson attended Sherwood Street Junior School, Warsop, Nottinghamshire (1964-1967) and Abbotsholme School, Staffordshire (1967 – 1975). Pearson lives 'with his wife, Fiona, who also works for The Times, and their three sons, in south London.'
According to a biographical note:
- His journalistic career has taken him from regional newspapers in England, through Hong Kong, China, Australia and the United States, to senior positions in Fleet Street. He has worked for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times and The Times, which he first joined in 1986. His interest in military history was stimulated by his father, who served with the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.
- Chief Night Editor The Times March 1999 – Present
- Executive Editor, The Times, March 1999 – July 2005
- Associate Night Editor, The Daily Telegraph August 1998 – March 1999 
Views on science communication
- One concern that was raised repeatedly by commentators on science journalism including academics and even one journal editor was the domination of the news agenda by stories from the weekly science and medical journals... Some linked this trend to the absence of any tradition of investigative journalism within science writing and others argued that science journalists tend to ‘go native’ and refrain from asking scientists the really tough questions. An editorial in Nature reflected the views of many commentators that science journalism needs to ‘scrutinise as well as regurgitate if it is to give science its trust'. There was some evidence that science journalists and editors are conscious of this charge. Simon Pearson, night editor of The Times, told the group that The Times are now more interested in breaking their own original stories than slavishly following what’s in the journals.
- Science Media Centre, member of the board 2004 - 2011; member of the advisory committee 2011-present
- Young Journalists Academy, Pearson has taken part in their events such as on 2 August 2011. The Times is a media sponsor of YJA an initiative set up by Spiked, part of the LM network.