This survey course introduces students to the important and basic material on human fertility, population growth, the demographic transition and population policy. Topics include: the human and environmental dimensions of population pressure, demographic history, economic and cultural causes of demographic change, environmental carrying capacity and sustainability. Political, religious and ethical issues surrounding fertility are also addressed. The lectures and readings attempt to balance theoretical and demographic scale analyzes with studies of individual humans and communities. The perspective is global with both developed and developing countries included.
This Yale College course, taught on campus twice per week for 75 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Spring 2009.
About Professor Robert Wyman
Robert Wyman is Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at Yale. Educated at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley, his research has been in neuro-genetics: how genes build the brain. Recent articles in that field have appeared in Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Neuroscience, and Glia. Since Yale produces so many political and societal leaders, Professor Wyman believes students should be educated in the major world issues. Population is probably the most important of these issues as it is a major driver of both human and environmental misery. Publications in this field have appeared in Population and Development Review and Population and Environment.