'Is the Planet Full?' now out in hardback

15 May 2014


Leading academics tackle the question of how to manage the world's burgeoning population in a new book published today by Oxford University Press.

Edited by Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, Is the Planet Full? explores the impacts of population growth and examines whether our planet can support the demands of the ten billion people anticipated to be the world's population by the middle of this century.

While it is common to hear about the problems of overpopulation, might there be unexplored benefits of increasing numbers of people in the world? How can we both consider and harness the potential benefits brought by a healthier, wealthier and larger population? May more people mean more scientists to discover how our world works, more inventors and thinkers to help solve the world's problems, more skilled people to put these ideas into practice?

In this book, academics with a wide range of expertise in demography, philosophy, biology, climate science, economics and environmental sustainability explore the contexts, costs and benefits of a burgeoning population on our economic, social and environmental systems.

Contributors to the book include Sir Tony Atkinson of the Economic Modelling Group, The Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, Professor Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, Professor Sarah Harper, Co-Director of the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, Professor Yadvinder Malhi, Director of the Oxford Centre for Tropical Forests, Professor Robyn Norton, Co-Director of the George Institute for Global Health, and Dr Toby Ord, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology.

Ian Goldin is the Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at Oxford University. From 2001 to 2006 he was at the World Bank, first as Director of Policy and then as Vice President. Previously, he was advisor to President Mandela and Chief Executive of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. He has been knighted by the French Government. Professor Goldin has published over fifty articles and eighteen books, including Exceptional People: How Migration Shaped our World and Will Define our Future (Princeton University Press, 2011) and Globalization for Development: Meeting New Challenges (Oxford University Press, 2012).