All downloads are in PDF format, unless otherwise stated.


Driverless cars and the sacred cow problem, abridged version published in City Metic, 5 September 2016


Risk and Culture,  published (2016) as chapter 7 in Routledge Handbook of Risk Studies


Cycling and Safety: change must take root in people’s minds, World Transport: Policy and Practice, vol 21, 3 October. This is the English version of a paper published (pages 49 – 65) in JORNADAS EN MADRID, CIUDADES EN BICICLETA, PERSONA CIUDAD BIENESTAR


Self driving cars and the child-ball problem: why autonomous vehicles are not the answerLondon Essays,  6 July.

2014 Risk: mathematical and otherwise
Essay commissioned for a special issue (June 2015) of the Mathematics Enthusiast entitled “Risk: mathematical or otherwise”.
2014 A Large Risk: the greenhouse effect: a near final draft of what became Chapter 9 of my book Risk published in 1995.
2013 Risk Compensation in Cities at Risk, chapter 3 in Cities at Risk: living with perils in the 21st century, Springer.
Near final draft of my chapter
2012 Is ISO 31000 fit for purpose?
2011 Not 100% sure? The public understanding of risk
Proof of chapter 6 of Successful Science Communication, Bennett and Jennings eds.
2010 Managing transport risks: what works?
Draft of essay for Handbook of Risk Theory
2010 The pursuit of resilience
Illustrated version of an essay commissioned by Egon Zehnder for a special issue of The Focus on resilience (2010, Vol. XIV/1)
2009 Risk Management in a Hypermobile World
Paper for OMEGA Seminar, University College London, 11.02.2009
2009 Risk Management: the Economics and Morality of Safety Revisited
Safety-Critical Systems: problems, Process and Practice, Proceedings of the 17th Safety-Critical Systems Symposium, Brighton 3-5 February, pp. 23 – 38.
2009 Bicycle bombs: a further enquiry and a new theory
16 January
2008 Deus é Brasileiro?
Preface for
Risco – the Brazilian translation of Risk
To be published in Brazil in March 2009
2008 Road Safety: the debate goes on, and on
Full version of a letter for Significance, December 2008
2008 Does he who pays the piper call the tune?
The tobacco industry and me: a confession
2008 Making God laugh (again): a risk management tutorial
2007 Risk management and the limitations of measurement
Published in Statistics, Science and Public Policy XII: Measurement, Risk and Society, proceedings of Conference on Statistics, Science and Public Policy: Measurement, Risk and Society, Herstmonceux Castle 18-21 April 2007, A.M. Herzberg editor.
2007 Dangerous trees?
Arboricultural Journal 2007, Vol. 30, pp. 95-103
2007 Draft for WHO Workshop – “the cost of inaction: economic valuation in environment and health”
Rome, 13-14 December 2007
2007 Never mind the width, feel the quality
(Published in abbreviated form in The Times Higher on 24 August 2007, as “Tide of paranoia swells safety fears needlessly”)
2007 Shared Space – would it work in Los Angeles?
(Commissioned, but not used – and worse not paid for – by The Los Angeles Times. So published here free of charge on the slightly-smaller-circulation Adams’ Blog)
2006 Britain’s seatbelt law should be repealed
Article accepted for publication in March 2007 by the Royal Statistical Society journal Significance. Published in the June issue, 2007, vol. 4, issue 2, pp86-89. Subsequently responded to by Allsop et al in Seat belt laws: why we should keep them, Significance June 2008.
2006 Risk and the impact of psychiatric disorder on the environment
Background paper for seminars at Grendon Prison, 17 November, and Cygnet Health Care, 30 November
2006 Dangerous Trees?
Paper for conference on “The Future of Tree Risk Management” London, 15 September 2006
View related blog
2006 Cross-Thinking About Sustainability: Hypermobility – A Challenge To Governance
A public lecture, Amsterdam 11 May 2006 PowerPoint version
2006 Risk Management: Making God Laugh
Published in the inaugural edition of Financial World, February 2006
2006 Risk Management: Cutting the CRAP
Published in InfoRM, the Journal of The Institute of Risk Management, March 2006
2005 CRAP: A Modern Mental Illness
Social Affairs Unit
View on SAU website
2005 Risk Assessment: Placing Terror Threats in Context
Royal United Services Institute: Jane’s Homeland Security and Resiliance Monitor October 2005, Vol 4 No 6
2005 Big Ideas: Risk
For New Scientist feature, Great Ideas that Shaped the World 17 September Plus correspondence
2005 7/7: What Kills You Matters – Not Numbers
Social Affairs Unit Published in abbreviated form (pp18-19) in The Times Higher, 29 July 2005
View on SAU website
2005 British Medical Journal Launches New Global Health Scare
Social Affairs Unit
View on SAU website
2005 The Failure of Seat Belt Legislation
Chapter 6 of Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World, Marco Verweij and Michael Thompson (eds)
Palgrave Macmillan, to be published in 2006
2005 Urban Streets and the Culture of Risk Aversion
Published as final chapter of What are we Scared of?
CABE Space, 2005
View on CABE website
2005 “Hypermobility: A Challenge to Governance”
In New Modes of Governance: Developing an Integrated Policy Approach to Science, Technology, Risk and the Environment Lyall, C. and Tait, J. (Eds) Ashgate, Aldershot
2005 Risk Management, It’s Not Rocket Science: It’s More Complicated
Social Affairs Unit
View on SAU website
2004 The Management Standard for Stress: Boosting Britain’s Litigation-Compensation Culture
Social Affairs Unit
View on SAU website
2004 Drug Prohibition is Not Working: The Case of Bloomsbury, London
Social Affairs Unit
An abridged version also published in The Times Higher, 12 November 2004
2004 Darling, Meet the 800 Pound Gorilla!
(In which the gorilla is TRAFFIC GROWTH)
Local Transport Today, 26 August 2004 (Plus ensuing letters to the editor)
2004 When Bad Luck is Good
Tech Central Station
View on TechCentral website
2004 Judging Juries Judging (note on citizen’s juries and GM debate)
Social Affairs Unit
View on SAU website
2004 Science and Terrorism: Challenges to the Quantification of the Risks of Terrorism
International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, 31st Session: The Cultural Planetary Emergency: Focus on Terrorism, Errice, Sicily, 7-12 May, A. Zichichi and R Ragaini (eds) World Scientific Publishing
Science and Terrorism: Post-Conference After-Thoughts
World Federation of Scientists’ International Seminar on Terrorism Erice 7-12 May
2003 In Defence of Bad Luck
View on Spiked Website –
2003 “Risk and Morality: Three Framing Devices”
Chapter 4, in Risk and Morality, Richard Ericson & Aaron Doyle (editors) University of Toronto Press
2002 Do we have enough injidents
For Europe WONCA 2002, Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, 9-13 June, 2002 The British Journal of General Practice (June 2002)
2002 “Risk Compensation Theory Should be Subject to Systematic Reviews of the Scientific Evidence: Debate About Cycle Helmets”
Injury Prevention (2002;8:e1-e1)
View on BMJ website
2002 Taking Account of Societal Concerns About Risk: Framing the ProblemResearch Report 035 (with Michael Thompson) Health and Safety Executive
View on HSE website (PDF)
2001 Risk compensation and helmet wearingInjury Prevention, June 2001.
2001 Letter from John Adams
Put in time capsule on 30th October 2001 – To be opened 30th October 2021Published in Ahead of Time: Birthday Letters to Mayer Hillman Policy Studies Institute
2001 Hypermobility: Too Much of a Good Thing
Royal Society for the Arts Lecture 21 November
2000 Concorde Crash
In Press?
1999 Risk-Benefit Analysis: Who Wants It? Who Needs It?
Paper for Cost-Benefit Analysis Conference Yale University, 8-10 October
1999 The Perils of Living in a Risk Free World
The Independent, 31 July
1999 Risk, Freedom and Responsibility
The Risk of Freedom: Individual Liberty and the Modern World
The Institute of United States Studies, University of London
Buy on Amazon
1999 Cars, Cholera and Cows: The Management of Risk and Uncertainty
Policy Analysis No. 335, Cato Institute, Washington Published with new introduction by the Adam Smith Institute (1999) as Risky Business
View on CATO website
2000 The Social Implications of Hypermobility
Report for OECD Project on Environmentally Sustainable Transport, Paris, start p.95
View on OECD website (PDF)
1999 Transgenic Plants and the Management of Virtual Risks
Methods for Risk Assessment of Transgenic Plants: III Ecological Risks and Prospects of Transgenic Plants, Where Do We Go From Here? (K. Ammann et al eds)
Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel
Conference paper – full version of chapter published above
1999 The Paddington Rail Crash: Keeping Things in Perspective
The Times
1999 The Anti-Car Imperative
Traffic Engineering and Control
1998 A Richter Scale for Risk?
Science and Technology Awareness in Europe: New Insights
Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg, first presented as a paper to British Association, 1997
1998 “Carmagedon” in Town and Country(Anthony Barnett and Roger Scruton eds) Jonathan Cape, London
Buy on Amazon
1998 Is Flying Safer than Driving?
(Comment on Swiss Air Crash, 2 September) The Times
1996 Can Technology Save Us?
World Transport Policy and Practice, 2/3 [1996] 4–17
View on WTPP website (PDF)
1994 The Role of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Environmental Debates
Report commissioned by Sir Crispin Tickell for British Government Panel on Sustainable Development
1993 Vogon Economics and the Hyperspatial Bypass
New Scientist
1991 On being economical with the environment
Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters (1991) 1. 161-163
1991 Prudence and the gambler
Shell World, February
1989 London’s Green Spaces: What are They Worth?
Report for London Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth, September 1989
1988 Evaluating the effectiveness of road safety measures, Traffic Engineering and Control, June
1987 Smeed’s Law: Some Further Thoughts
Traffic Engineering and Control, February
1986 Seat Belt Legislation in Britain
Article commissioned for, but not published by, the WHO International Digest of Health Legislation. For background see  –
1986 The effects of seat belt legislation on British road casualties
Contribution as discussant to paper by Harvey, A.C. and Durbin, J.
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, 149, 187-227.
1983 Public Safety Legislation and the Risk Compensation Hypothesis The example of Motorcycle Helmet Legislation, Environment and Planning C: 1983 vol.1 pages 193-203
1982 The Efficacy of Seat Belt Legislation
Society of Automotive Engineers, Transactions, pages 2824-38 This is the published, peer-reviewed edition of a 1981 UCL Occasional Paper
Critique of this Occasional Paper by J E Isles for the Department of Transport
1974 …and how much for your grandmother
Environment and Planning A, volume 6, pages 619 – 626
1972 Booming discorde
Geographical Magazine, July (with Nigel Haigh)
1972 Life in a global village
1971 London’s Third Airport: From TLA to Airstrip One
The Geographical Journal, Vol. 137, No. 4 (Dec., 1971), pp. 468-493
1970 Westminster: The Fourth London Airport?
Area, Institute of British Geographers, No.2

No comment yet

3 pings

  1. Protection - Page 20 - London Fixed-gear and Single-speed says:

    […] more risks, effectively negating the theoretical positive effect of protection. Lots to read here: It may at first glance sound about as interesting as eating sawdust, but as you get into it you […]

  2. Inactivity, cost-benefit analysis, risk compensation (more John Adams) « Psychobikeology says:

    […] in areas that interest me and when I first came across him I read through pretty much all of the articles and letters available on his […]

  3. Es momento de hacer #CallesCompartidas - DériveLAB says:

    […] que ha sido argumentada por el profesor emérito de Geografía de la Universidad Colegio de Londres John Adams en sus numerosos libros y publicaciones sobre el riesgo en un mundo hipermóvil; y que resumía […]

Comments have been disabled.