The present volume contains the proceedings of a seminar on Human Fertility and Population Problems held under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in Brookline, Massachusetts, May 3 through 5, 1963.
The magnitude of the problems arising from an unprecedented multiplication of the human species has stirred the concern of thinking peoples everywhere. The expansion in world population projected for even the remainder of this century is staggering. Much attention has been devoted over past decades to trends in national and world population but the approach, until the past few years, has been mainly analytical. In the natural course of events the population projections made by students of this subject are of such accuracy as to suggest that the results are destined by immutable forces. That such an attitude of fateful resignation is unwarranted has been amply demonstrated in some areas of the world during the postwar period by the exercise of a measure of control of human fertility or fecundity.
The dominant motive in holding this seminar was to focus attention on what can be done about the population problem and how. Complete coverage of the many facets of so vast a topic was clearly not feasible. Political, religious and humanistic aspects were not dealt with. Primary consideration was given to material from the bio-medical, socio-economic and cultural fronts. Meeting with the experts in these areas were approximately one hundred students and junior staff from thirty-two institutions of higher learning in the Boston-Worcester-Providence area. It was hoped that they might profit from this experience and that perhaps some will be stimulated to contribute to the solution of these problems that everywhere haunt man's contemplation of his society in the world of tomorrow.
The papers are published in the form in which they were presented at the seminar; the discussion, however, has been