Under the Banyan Tree

Under the Banyan Tree : A Population Scientist's Odyssey

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In this concise, understandable and hard-hitting analysis of human affairs affected by population growth, Sheldon Segal lays out the problems and suggests the solutions. In topics ranging from global food supply, to environmental problems, to urbanization, he gives us his take on the importance of moving a society from high fertility to low fertility. By using the Banyan Tree as a metaphor for nature's classroom, often the only schoolroom in impoverished rural villages, Segal highlights the role of education in uplifting women and reducing the birth rate. In the near future the world will require food for 3 billion more people - the major proportion of this population increase occurring in societies with current existing high levels of malnutrition. Dr Segal traces the evolution of the population movement from an emphasis on demographic issues to the pre-eminence of women's health and empowerment. The book includes an authoritative analysis of the biology of human reproduction and contraception, including the potential for new contraceptive methods for both women and men. Segal urges a coaliltion of concerned leadership in the field, reminding us that we face real antagnosists who are zealous opponents of population policy. Laced with entertaining anecdotes and eyewitness descriptions of key events of the last half of the 20th century, this is a remarkable account of the global transition to lower fertility, told by someone who has been both a participant and an observer in this historic epoch.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 162.1 x 246.9 x 24.1mm | 544.32g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195154568
  • 9780195154566

Table of contents

1. The changing world population; 2. Vulnerable links in the chain of reproductive events; 3. The changing modern woman; 4. The Pill and IUD modernized contraception; 5. Beyond the Pill and IUD; 6. Is contraception research a male chauvinist plot?; 7. Barriers to developing new contraceptives; 8. Feeding the world's people; 9. Globalization, population, and the changing environment; 10. Reproductive health, education, and gender equality; 11. Population and the changing burden of illness; 12. Conclusions and recommendationsshow more

About Sheldon J. Segal

Sheldon J. Segal is distinguished scientist at the Population Council and chairman of the Council's Institutional Review Board. He is the former director for Population Sciences at the Rockefeller Foundation and continues his association with the Foundation as the Ella Walker Distinguished Scholar, Bellagio Study Center. Segal is also an adjunct professor of clinical pharmacology at Cornell Medical School.show more

Review quote

"A lucid, forceful, and engaging book, drawing on the author's lifelong experience with both science and policy-making in the population field, and sure to stimulate much needed and more informed debate on urgent policy issues."--Sissela Bok, Author and Senior Visiting Fellow, Havard Center for Population and Development Studies"As a world leader in the field of population and reproductive biology, and recipient of the United Nations Population Award, Sheldon Segal has a unique reputation as a scientist who understands the policy implications of research. This is a scientist's book, based on evidence rather than speculation. It will be an invaluable guide to policymakers on the intricacies of the population future, and the issues that will demand attention in the years ahead."--Nafis Sadik, former Executive Dierector of UN Population Fund and Special Advisor to Secretary General Kofi Annanshow more

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