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Global Insights, Local Strategies: The Outlook for Children in the 21st Century

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
6:00 P.M. | Program
7:00 P.M. | Reception
The Rockefeller University
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Hall
1230 York Avenue at East 66th Street


Richard P. Lifton, M.D., Ph.D.




Joel E. Cohen, Ph.D., Dr.P.H.

Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor
Laboratory of Populations

The first children born in the 21st century will soon turn eighteen. They will enter adulthood at a time when less wealthy nations, concentrated in Africa, have the largest proportion of people under fourteen years of age, while the populations of North America, Europe, and some Asian nations have the world’s lowest percentages of children. This demographic and economic asymmetry, along with trends such as climate change, urbanization, emerging diseases, and international migration, will affect the outlook for children in the coming decades.

Can society provide children around the world with adequate nutrition, health care, and education? How will these basic needs impact political stability, opportunities for employment, and other outcomes? Joel E. Cohen, a biologist, mathematician, and public health specialist, is conducting interdisciplinary research that can help us to find answers to these challenging questions and take action. Dr. Cohen and his colleagues study populations, ecosystems, and environments, using mathematical, statistical, and computational tools to analyze the dynamics of food webs, the spread of insect-borne infections, and even the frequency of tornadoes.

Joel E. Cohen, Ph.D., Dr.P.H., is Rockefeller University’s Abby R. Mauzé Professor and head of the Laboratory of Populations. He is also a faculty member of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Dr. Cohen has published fourteen books, including two volumes (as an editor) on universal education. He received the first Olivia Schieffelin Nordberg Prize, awarded by the Population Council, for his 1995 book, How Many People Can the Earth Support?

A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Cohen is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the American Philosophical Society, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, frequently referred to as the “Genius” Award, and has shared the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, the premier international award in its field.