99. Car Brain with Dr. Ian Walker

By January 31, 2023 Uncategorized

Emojis: Blue car + pink brain = angry face

Is it acceptable to harm another person? To steal someone’s private property? To bend health and safety rules just to save a few minutes or make more money? According to a new study, it might depend on whether or not a car is involved. Dr. Ian Walker, a professor of environmental psychology at Swansea University in Wales, joins us for a fascinating discussion about the unconscious biases we all share in favor of cars, how those assumptions shape our streets, and how they prevent the kind of change needed to make them safer. It’s a phenomenon he and his co-authors call “motonormativity.”

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

This episode is sponsored by Cleverhood. Receive 15% off anything in the Cleverhood store using the special coupon code in this episode. Good for a limited time only! 

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Read the full study: Motonormativity: How Social Norms Hide a Major Public Health Hazard.

Learn more about Dr. Ian Walker.

How closely do drivers pass cyclists? According to Dr. Walker’s research, it depends.

What if people behaved in grocery stores the way they do behind the wheel of a car? (PSA via Norway’s State Road Administration)

Buy The War on Cars merch in our store and books by podcast guests at our official Bookshop.org page.

This episode was edited by Ali Lemer and recorded by Josh Wilcox of the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo was designed by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Designs. 



One Comment

  • Kay Woodall says:

    That was excellent. Thank you! I live in Australia and agree that yes, as a female I get no extra special treatment when riding a bicycle, whether I’m in Lycra on a road bike or in a frock on the step through, they still want to kill me.
    It was fascinating to hear about the differences in responses the the questions in the study. I’d love to forward this to our minister for transport.. ????