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Global Problems of Population Growth with Professor Robert Wyman

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About the Course

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. view class sessions >>



Course Structure:

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.



MCDB 150: Global Problems of Population Growth (Spring, 2009)

Syllabus

Professor:

Robert Wyman, Professor of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, Yale University



Description:

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.



Texts:

Birdsall, Nancy and Steven Sinding. Why Population Matters. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Boserup, Ester. Woman's Role in Economic Development. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1970.

Bumiller, Elizabeth. May You Be the Mother of a Hundred Sons: A Journey among the Women of India. New York: Ballantine Books, 1991.

Campbell, Neil A., Jane B. Reece and Lawrence G. Mitchell. Biology, 5th edition. Menlo Park, CA: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc., 1999.

Carlson, Elof. Mendel's Legacy: The Origin of Classical Genetics. Cold Spring Harbor: Cold Spring Laboratory Press, 2004.

Cohen, Joel E. How Many People Can the Earth Support. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1995.

Dash, Leon. When Children Want Children. New York: Penguin Books, 1990.

De Waal, Frans. Our Inner Ape. New York: Penguin Books, 2005.

De Waal, Frans. Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex among Apes. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989.

Faundes, Anibal and Jose Barzelatto. The Human Drama of Abortion: A Global Search for Consensus. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2006.

Forsyth, Adrian. A Natural History of Sex. The Ecology and Evolution of Sexual Behavior. New York: Charles Scribner and Sons, 1986.

Gilbert, Scott. Developmental Biology, 7th edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates Inc., 2003.

Gillis, John R., Louise A. Tilly and David Levine. Introduction to The European Experience of Declining Fertility 1850-1970: The Quiet Revolution. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers, 1992.

Goodall, Jane. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns and Behavior. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986.

Harrison, Paul. The Third World: Population, Environment, and a Sustainable World. New York: Penguin Books, 1993.

Harrison, Paul. The Third Revolution: Environment, Population and a Sustainable World. London: I B Tauris & Co Ltd, 1992.

Hurtado, A. Magdalena and Kim Hill. Ache Life History: The Ecology and Demography of a Foraging People. Hawthorne: Aldine Books, 1996.

Keeley, Lawrence. War before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

Kenney, Paul. Preparing for the Twenty-First Century. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

Lidz, Theodore and Ruth W. Lidz. Oedipus in the Stone Age: A Psychoanalytic Study of Masculinization in Papua New Guinea. Madison: International Universities Press, 1989.

Livi-Bacci, Massimo. A Concise History of World Population: An Introduction to Population Processes. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001.

Luker, Kristin. Dubious Conceptions: The Politics of Teenage Pregnancy. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996.

Luker, Kristin. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1984.

Mohr, James C. Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Mosher, Steven. Mother's Ordeal: One Woman's Fight Against China's One-Child Policy. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1993.

Noonan, John T. The Morality of Abortion. An Almost Absolute Value in History. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970.

Peterson, Dale and Richard Wrangham. Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

Rogers, Everett and D. Lawrence Kincaid. Communication Networks: Toward a New Paradigm for Research. London: Collier MacMillan Publishers, 1981.

Smith, Robert J. and Ella Wiswell. The Women of Suya Mura. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982.

Teitelbaum, Michael and Jay Winter. The Fear of Population Decline. Orlando: Academic Press, 1985.

Thompson, Sharon. Going All the Way; Teenage Girls' Tales of Sex, Romance, and Pregnancy. New York: Hill and Wang, 1995.

Tuchman, Barbara. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. New York: Knopf, 1978.

Weeks, John R. Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, 8th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2002.

Ying, Hong. Daughter of the River. Translated by Harold Goldblatt. New York: Grove Press, 1998.



Requirements:

There are two midterm examinations and a final. Each 75 minute midterm (25% of final grade each) will cover material on the preceding third of the course. The first half of the final exam (75 minutes) will cover the material from the last third of the course (25% of final grade). The second half of the final (also 75 minutes) will contain comprehensive questions (25% of final grade). Students have the option of submitting a paper of 10-20 pages (double spaced) in lieu of taking the second half of the final (25% of final grade).



Grading:

Midterm examination 1: 25%
Midterm examination 2: 25%
Final examination: 50%



MCDB 150: Global Problems of Population Growth

Class Sessions

Click session titles below to access audio, video, and course materials.

1. Evolution of Sex and Reproductive Strategies
2. Sex and Violence Among the Apes
3. From Ape to Human
4. When Humans Were Scarce
5. Why Is Africa Different?
6. Malthusian Times
7. Demographic Transition in Europe; Mortality Decline
8. Demographic Transition in Europe; Fertility Decline
9. Demographic Transition in Europe
10. Quantitative Aspects
11. Low Fertility in Developed Countries (Guest Lecture by Michael Teitelbaum)
12. Human and Environmental Impacts
13. Fertility Attitudes and Practices
14. Demographic Transition in Developing Countries
15. Female Disadvantage
16. Population in Traditional China
17. Population in Modern China
18. Economic Impact of Population Growth
19. Economic Motivations for Fertility
20. Teen Sexuality and Teen Pregnancy
21. Global Demography of Abortion
22. Media and the Fertility Transition in Developing Countries (Guest Lecture by William Ryerson)
23. Biology and History of Abortion
24. Population and the Environment


MCDB 150: Global Problems of Population Growth (Spring, 2009)

Downloads

Course Pages:

The file below contains all of the course pages from this course andmay be downloaded for offline use. The file is offered in .zip format;you must have access to a suitable decompression application to unzipthe contents before use. After decompressing the file, please click"start.html" to launch.

[ download all course pages ] - size 5.1 MB - filetype application/zip



Course Media:

Audio and video files for this course may be downloaded in two ways: iTunes U or the links below for individual files.

To download all tracks from iTunes U, click the "Get Tracks" button on any course page in the iTunes U interface. If the download is interrupted, click "Resume" to continue the download process. You must have Apple's iTunes software installed on your computer to download from iTunes U.

 

To download individual media files from the course, please click the links in the Class Sessions section below. Apple QuickTime 7.2 or higher is required to view the videos, while the mp3 files will play in any mp3-compatible device/player.

 
 1. Evolution of Sex and Reproductive...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 2. Sex and Violence Among the Apes[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 3. From Ape to Human[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 4. When Humans Were Scarce[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 5. Why Is Africa Different?[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 6. Malthusian Times[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 7. Demographic Transition in Europe...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 8. Demographic Transition in Europe...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 9. Demographic Transition in Europe[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 10. Quantitative Aspects[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 11. Low Fertility in Developed Countries...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 12. Human and Environmental Impacts[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 13. Fertility Attitudes and Practices[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 14. Demographic Transition in...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 15. Female Disadvantage[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 16. Population in Traditional China[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 17. Population in Modern China[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 18. Economic Impact of Population...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 19. Economic Motivations for Fertility[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 20. Teen Sexuality and Teen Pregnancy[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 21. Global Demography of Abortion[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 22. Media and the Fertility Transition...[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 23. Biology and History of Abortion[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]
 24. Population and the Environment[ high bandwidth ]   [ medium bandwidth ][ mp3 ]

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