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Journal Club Meeting #3

Participation from Hans-Peter Kohler
When Nov 14, 2014
from 11:00 AM to 01:00 PM
Where 2101C Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Attendees Esha Chatterjee
Reid Hamel
Jonathan Jackson
Sai Luo
Tyler Myroniuk
Mahesh Somashekhar
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Some exciting developments have occurred which should make our third MPRC Journal Club session very interesting. The article for this session is Gerland et al. (2014) "World Population Stabilization Unlikely This Century". For how short Science articles are, this one is jam-packed and will offer us a lot of discussion.

But the more intriguing development is that Hans-Peter Kohler, a renowned demographer at the University of Pennsylvania, has agreed to join us over the phone / Skype to discuss this paper - particularly the population projection methods - as well as how to publish in such a prestigious journal like Science (he has published in Science's equivalent, Nature).

I think this is a great opportunity for graduate students and faculty, alike, to evaluate very high-level demographic research and to learn from a well-established demographer like Hans-Peter.


Hans-Peter e-mailed me recently with two very brief comments (less than 1 page) he found in a more recent edition of Science pertaining to the Gerland et al. 2014 piece that we will be discussing. He asked that we all take a look at these as they will be fodder for discussion about the assumptions in these population projection estimates by Gerland et al.

Also, Sangeetha Madhavan, passed along an article--as a supplementary reading--from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Bradshaw and Crook 2014) that examines the environmental consequences of human population growth. If you would like to take a look at this, I think you will find it very interesting as well.

If there wasn't enough reason to come to our next Journal Club session, we hope this pushes you even more. See you then.

As always, contact or for more information.

Resumé of meeting #3

The third MPRC Journal Club session was quite different from the previous two as we brought in Hans-Peter Kohler, via Skype from the University of Pennsylvania, who has expertise in probabilistic forecasting methods for population estimates. He was able to offer insight into the benefits of Bayesian estimating methods (produced by Gerland et al. [2014] and now the UN Population Division) relative to estimates produce more directly from expert opinions (Lutz et al. [2001, 2008]), and the implications for predicting world population growth to the year 2100. Further, he advised us on how to approach publishing in journals like Science or Nature and how to convince what would likely be a biological sciences editor that macro-level population research would contribute to these journals. In sum, we all have a lot better understanding of probabilistic forecasting and sense of how to go about putting together an article for such journals, should we attempt such a project in our early careers. We all appreciated Dr. Kohler's time and he was very happy to join our discussion.

The MPRC Journal Club will resume in February. We hope to see you next semester !

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