Honorary doctorate for PSI's Mayer Hillman
Mayer Hillman, senior fellow emeritus at PSI, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Westminster. Mayer has made a major contribution to research and public discourse on issues around transport, childhood independence and climate change.
Born in north-west London in 1931, Mayer is a qualified architect and town planner and completed a doctoral thesis on transport, planning and environmental issues in 1970 at the University of Edinburgh. In the same year, he joined Political and Economic Planning, which later became Policy Studies Institute, and was head of PSI’s Environment and Quality of Life Research Programme until 1992.
One particularly noteworthy area of his work has been children’s independent mobility, the decline of which Mayer identified as a serious cause for concern. He has taken part in three major research projects on the issue, spanning over 40 years, including most recently an international comparison on the subject, published in 2015 (read the report here). His work is frequently cited in discussions about revising daylight saving time.
In 2001, PSI marked Mayer’s 70th birthday with a collection of letters in his honour, Ahead of Time. In recent years, his work has mainly focused on the problem of climate change. He has been a vocal advocate of personal carbon trading and published a number of books, including How We Can Save the Planet (with Tina Fawcett) in 2004 and The Suicidal Planet: Our Last Chance to Prevent Climate Catastrophe (with Tina Fawcett and Sudhir Rajan) in 2007.
In 2006, Mayer was listed at number 37 in ‘Earthshakers’, a list of the top 100 green campaigners of all time, compiled by the Environment Agency.