Discussion - Contemporary Issues of Population Growth

This discussion will focus primarily on contemporary issues of population growth including economic considerations, fertility attitudes and practices, teen sexuality, and abortion.  Some of these topics relate more directly to American culture and society, but we will also look at global issues including the 100 million girls that are "missing".

This topic is inspired by a video lecture course "Global Problems of Population Growth" from Open Yale Courses. Its home page is at http://oyc.yale.edu/molecular-cellular-and-developmental-biology/mcdb-150. The videos are also available in this YouTube Playlist for the Population Growth Course.

We will cover local and contemporary issues of Population Growth:

  • Review of main population growth trends and issues (80 million more people each year, the demographic transition, etc.)
  • Current Population trends: problems with data, population momentum, age structure, etc. (recommended video: Session 10)
  • Macroeconomic issues of population (recommended video: Session 18)
  • Economic Issues of Families (Microeconomics, Human Capital, "Children are an inferior good") (recommended video: Session 19)
  • Issues facing low fertility countries (recommended video: Session 11)
  • Fertility Attitudes and Practices (recommended video: Session 13)
  • Abuse, abortion, and infanticide of females (recommended video: Session 15)
  • Teen Sexuality and Pregnancy (recommended video: Session 20)
  • Abortion (recommended videos: Session 21 and Session 23)
  • Media and the Fertility Transition (recommended videos: Session 22)
  • Human and Environmental Issues (recommended video: Session 24)
  • Topics from last month that anyone wants to discuss further

This discussion is related to last month's May 13th meetup on Global Issues of Population Growth where the other half of the Yale course was discussed.

 

We are seeking volunteers to lead future Ben Franklin Thinking Society discussions. If you have a topic of interest, please send me an e-mail ([masked]) outlining your subject.

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  • Tee C.

    There was much lively discussion thanks to those willing to play devil's advocate. This topic is so big, we could have many more meetings on this. I enjoyed it.

    June 14, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great discussion, very well moderated! Wonderful group!

    June 12, 2012

  • CJ F.

    That went well, but how do I write a review of the Population Growth course?

    June 11, 2012

  • Daniel H.

    Very well moderated--moderator introduced recent research, statistics, academic theories of demographic dynamics. Interlocutors were thoughtful, open-minded, respectful and enthusiastic. I learned a lot and met a great group of people.

    June 11, 2012

  • CJ F.

    The 2010 revision of the UN's World Population Prospects is long, but includes a lot of great data and projections:

    http://esa.un.org/wpp/Documentation/pdf/WPP2010_Highlights.pdf

    June 9, 2012

  • CJ F.

    Here is another great Hans Rosling video on population growth. Bob Wyman, the instructor of the Open Yale Course mentioned in the description, might disagree: we cannot know future rates for human fertility, therefore we cannot be certain that global population will top off at 10 billion. Indeed current trends indicate that we may be headed for 16 billion as we will discuss on Sunday.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html

    June 6, 2012

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