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The Next 82 Years: Faculty and Students Confronting Existential Challenges

Lecture | May 4 | 5-7 p.m. | 150 University Hall


Malcolm Potts, School of Public Health

Public Health, School of


Since 1950, the global population and the global economy together have grown at 3.9 percent per year—doubling every 17 years. Such exponential growth cannot continue on a finite planet. Will it end in pain or in achievable policies? Many scientists agree that human activity has passed—or will pass shortly—the biological capacity of the planet to sustain life as we know it.

Join Professor Malcolm Potts for a conversation about his past 82 years on the planet—a time of unprecedented change and growth of scientific understanding--and existential questions that our faculty and students will face in the next 82 years: Will human activity and human numbers cause irreversible damage to the biosphere or will we find evidence-based ways to create a sustainable world? Will mutually assured destruction continue to hold back the use of the global nuclear stock pile, or will a ‘nuclear exchange’ take place?

Malcolm Potts MB, BChir, PhD, FRCOG is a Cambridge-trained obstetrician and reproductive scientist. He is the first holder of the Fred H. Bixby endowed chair in Population and Family Planning at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, which he held from 1992 to 2015. He founded and directed the School’s Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability. He served for a decade as first medical director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, where he introduced family planning methods into scores of developing countries. As CEO of Family Health International (FHI), he launched the first large scale studies of maternal mortality, which helped start the worldwide Safe Motherhood Initiative. Potts has published 10 books and more than 200 scientific papers.

This talk is part of the 2016-2017 UC Berkeley School of Public Health Dean’s Speaker Series.


All Audiences

All Audiences

Registered guests will be seated first. Registration opens April 6. Register by May 3 online. Contact person: Niki Shapiro

Provided at the reception.


510-664-4685