Christoph Nolte: Studying the economic tradeoffs of land conservation in Brazil

Christoph Nolte is the winner of the 2012 Marshall Weinberg Population, Development, and Climate Change Fellowship, administered jointly by the School of Natural Resources and Environment and the Population Studies Center in the Institute for Social Research. Continue reading

David Harding: Interrogating the truth of the American Dream

David HardingPart of the fun—and challenge—of field research is coping with the odd curve ball. For sociologist David Harding, one episode in particular stands out.

It was the summer of 2003, and Harding, then pursuing his doctorate in sociology and social policy at Harvard, was trying to recruit 60 8- to 13-year-old boys from three poor, mostly African-American neighborhoods in Boston to interview in-depth. Continue reading

Fifty years of change in population studies

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Fifty years ago, when the ISR Population Studies Center was founded, the burning issues in population studies looked starkly different from today. Rising birth rates—coupled with increased longevity—were raising widespread fears that the world’s resources would be overwhelmed. The Population Bomb was still seven years away; in it, biologist author Paul Ehrlich would famously declare that “hundreds of millions of people will starve to death” by the 1970s. But researchers, policymakers, and foundations were already searching for ways to avert what many feared would be a broad humanitarian disaster. Continue reading