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    Under the Banyan Tree: A Population Scientists Odyssey

    By: Sheldon J. Segal

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    Human population growth has been a topic of speculation and spirited debate since the English economist Thomas Malthus predicted that population will increase faster than the food supply, with catastrophic results. Today, even as fertility rates decline on a global scale, relentless increases in population and other population-driven factors threaten not only the food supply, but also the stability of entire regions of the world. No single individual has contributed more to our understanding of scientific matters related to human population than Sheldon Segal has. Pioneer in contraceptive research and developer of Norplant, Segal has orchestrated many of the international clinical trials of new contraceptives in the last quarter century. In this one volume Segal examines how population factors impact critical scientific elements of human affairs: contraception, family planning, environmental degradation, climate change, food and fresh water supply, and the threat of newly emerging diseases. As we follow Segal from meetings with heads of state and foreign ministers through to his impassioned, grassroots efforts to secure suitable funds for impoverished countries, we gain a behind-the-scenes perspective on how individuals and nations juggle humanitarian and scientific concerns with political agendas. Informed at every turn by Segals keen intelligence and humane values,Under The Banyan Tree skillfully blends engaging narrative with history and analysis, providing a dramatic and all-encompassing portrait of this most basic of human concerns.

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