November 27, 2021

The Nathan and Beatrice Keyfitz Lectures
in Mathematics and the Social Sciences

A Public Lecture Series
Koffler Institute, 569 Spadina Avenue
Room KP 108

Follow this link for a map to the Koffler Institute.
Parking is available in the University lot at 215 Huron or on street metered parking.
Theatre doors open at 5:40 pm, and the lecture begins at 6:00 pm.
The Fields Institute is pleased to announce a series of public lectures on the topic of "mathematics and the social sciences". These lectures will be of interest to the university community as well as to individuals involved in public administration, economics, health policy, social and political science. The purpose of the series is both to inform the public of some of the ways quantitative methods are being used to design solutions to societal problems, and to encourage dialogue between mathematical and social scientists.

The lecture series will be held annually. Lecturers are selected by a distinguished international committee consisting of both mathematicians and social scientisits. All lectures are open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Inaugural Lecture

May 8, 2007 -- 6:00 p.m.

Joel E. Cohen,
Professor of Populations, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities, New York

How Many People Can the Earth Support? And How Do You Know That?

People have been worrying about how many people the Earth can support for thousands of years. In the last 350 years, scientists have published more than 60 estimates of the number of people the Earth can support. These estimates range from fewer than 1 billion to more than 1,000 billion. The nature and limitations of the mathematical methods used to derive these estimates will be described. Earth’s capacity to support people is determined both by natural constraints and by human choices concerning economics, environment, culture (including values and politics), and demography. Human carrying capacity is therefore dynamic and uncertain. Human choice is not captured by ecological notions of carrying capacity that are appropriate for non-human populations. How many people the Earth can support has been and will be strongly influenced by how humans choose to interact with one another and with the Earth.

The next Keyfitz Lectures in Mathematics and the Social Sciences will be held October 30, 2007 with speaker Jon Kleinberg,
Professor of Computer Science, Cornell University

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