Population: The Elephant in the Room Is Our Friend


Event Date: 12 June 2014
Room 417
Birkbeck Main Building
Birkbeck, University of London
Malet Street
London WC1E 7HX

The Birkbeck Department of Politics presents:

Population: The Elephant in the Room Is Our Friend

with Professor Malcolm Potts and Dr Martha Campbell (University of California Berkeley)

Malcolm Potts is a professor in Maternal and Child Health and the first and former (1992-2013) holder of the Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning in the School of Public Health. He founded the Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability. He has been focused on population, climate change, early marriage and family planning in the Sahel, and task shifting in family planning and safe motherhood in Afghanistan, Iran, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya. Professor Potts has written 300 scientific articles and 11 books, including Queen Victoria’s Gene, Ever Since Adam and Eve: The evolution of human sexuality and, most recently, Sex and War. He was a founding board member of the London Pregnancy Advisory Services in the 1960s and of Population and Community Development Association (Bangkok), MSI (London) and Population Services International (Washington DC) and Ipas and Family health International (North Carolina) in the 1970s. In 2010 he was a member of the UK Royal Society’s Working Group which produced the new report People and the Planet. A Cambridge-trained obstetrician and research embryologist, he was the first Medical Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (1968-78) and helped create successful family planning programs in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Colombia, Taiwan and Thailand. As president and CEO of Family Health International (1978-1990) Potts initiated landmark studies of maternal mortality. Under his leadership FHI was the first NGO to receive USAID money for AIDS prevention in Africa.

Martha Campbell is a Lecturer in the University of California, Berkeley, in the School of Public Health. In the 1990s she directed the population program, including reproductive rights, in the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 2000 she created Venture Strategies. She has long been interested in world population growth, women’s empowerment, and issues of scale. She published in 2006, with medical doctors Malcolm Potts and Nuriye Hodoglugil, the first comprehensive review of the broad range of barriers in many countries that limit women’s reproductive options. With Dr. Ndola Prata and Potts she published in 2012 “The Impact of Freedom on Fertility Decline”, their paradigm explaining the slowing of population growth in a human rights framework. Dr. Campbell has written and spoken often on the widespread silence since the 1990s about the population subject, and the costly results around it. She serves on the boards of World Health Partners in New Delhi, the Margaret Pyke Trust in London, and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. Her degrees are from Wellesley College and the University of Colorado.

Introduction by Professor Eric Kaufmann (Birkbeck):



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