Population and Ethics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Birth and Death


Undoubtedly, many of the most pressing challenges of our age relate to changes in human population. Many people believe that the world is overpopulated and that population growth is causing significant social, economic and environmental harm. However, countries with low rates of population growth are struggling to cope with ageing populations and shrinking workforces.

Cumberland Lodge will be hosting a colloquium this September to address these important and interrelated issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. Bringing together economists, philosophers, demographers, political theorists, healthcare ethicists and policy makers with an interest in population we will present fresh perspectives on these global challenges and stimulate new lines if interdisciplinary discussion. The colloquium will consider the following four themes:

• Procreation – the ethics of creating new lives
• Society – demography as a driver of economic and social change
• Overpopulation – the science and ethics of global limits to population growth
• The environment – the ecological, cultural and development impacts of population policies


All sessions will include extensive opportunities for discussion and debate, with additional time for continued discussion and networking built into the programme. The day will end with a keynote address by Sir Partha Dasgupta (Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge).

The event will take place at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park on Monday the 26th of September 2016. Attendance is free for all participants and there is limited accommodation available at the Lodge on the nights of the 25th and 26th of September. For further information and to register online, please visit http://www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk/whats-on/population-and-ethics-interdisciplinary-perspectives-birth-and-death. The event is also being supported by the Royal Economic Society, the British Society for Population Studies and the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk.
We hope that you will be able to join us for this event, please do let me know if you have any questions.

Simon Beard
Colloquium convener and research associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risks at the University of Cambridge