The panel concludes from its investigations that the over-all task is to achieve universal acceptance of the desirability of planning and controlling family size. An essential condition for the achievement of this objective is the awareness among people throughout the world that voluntary planning and control of family size can and will provide better opportunities for all children and greater happiness for their parents.
Science and technology must provide knowledge of the nature of the reproductive processes and simple, acceptable techniques for controlling them. Societies must make available to all people techniques that do not interfere with the necessary privacy and fulfillment of marital life.
Implementation of the following recommendations is essential for needed expansion and strengthening of activities in the fields of science that are concerned with population problems.
1 Support of graduate and postdoctoral training in demography and in social and bio-medical sciences concerned with population problems should be increased.
Effective basic and applied research on population problems is severely restricted by the scarcity of qualified experts. In demography, for example, the conduct of large-scale statistical operations and the staffing of research programs within the government and in the universities must draw upon a very meager supply of trained demog-
raphers. Despite the fundamental contributions that have already been made by demographers in illuminating the inverse relationship between population growth and economic development, large areas of the problem remain obscure. No great increase in the effective contribution of population research is likely to occur without an increase in the number of good demographers. Fellowship support is needed in order to attract qualified students to graduate work in demography. In addition, funds are needed to help universities establish teaching and research posts, for at the present time graduate training in demography is available at only a few of the many outstanding American universities.
Similar needs exist in the social sciences, to provide competent investigators for motivational and attitudinal studies in the field of family planning. Finally, as indicated in the bio-medical section of this report, there is great need for increased research in a number of areas related to animal and human reproduction. This requires additional personnel. Increased support for existing laboratories and for individual investigators currently concerned with studies of specific aspects of the reproductive process will help to attract graduate students to this field of investigation. Graduate and postdoctoral training fellowships must be provided for qualified candidates. Support for schools of hygiene and public health concerned with the training of personnel in population problems must also be expanded.
2 Research laboratories for scientific investigation of the bio-medical aspects of human reproduction should be expanded.
The process of human reproduction is complex, and a thorough understanding of it will require extensive research by many investigators in universities, medical centers, and other research institutions.
There are at present a few laboratories concerned with human reproduction. We recommend that these laboratories expand their facilities and mobilize additional students and mature scholars to work on problems of human fertility. Bringing such scientists together at a few centers would create a highly stimulating atmosphere and bring a new sense of urgency to our appreciation of world population problems. The work of such laboratories would attract public
attention to the importance of research in this area and serve to catalyze additional work in other laboratories on studies in human reproduction. In this connection we welcome the establishment of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development.
The bio-medical section of this report discusses several promising opportunities for research on methods of fertility regulation. Work done in recent years has opened up enough such opportunities to warrant a concentrated five-to-seven-year effort in applied research directed toward improving and enlarging the present battery of contraceptive methods, thus increasing the effectiveness of voluntary family planning by individuals throughout the world. The scope and urgency of the problems are great enough to justify the launching of large, well-publicized programs. Such programs would surely attract sufficient numbers of qualified personnel to staff the pertinent areas of study and research.
3 International cooperation in studies concerned with voluntary fertility regulation and family planning is highly desirable, and the United States Government should actively participate in fostering such cooperation, working in coordination with appropriate agencies of the United Nations system whenever possible, and with other inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations whenever appropriate.
The most important contributions the United States Government can make are support of the search for new knowledge and making this knowledge readily accessible to the international community. Scientific research knows no national boundaries, and it is appropriate that American efforts to improve our knowledge of biological, social, and cultural aspects of voluntary fertility regulation and family planning should be part of an international effort. We should seek to foster the creation of a rich diversity of resources among various countries of the international community, so that countries seeking information on ways and means of dealing with their population problems will be able to obtain from one country or another the particular types of assistance most compatible with their particular economic, social, cultural/and religious circumstances.
One of the major tasks is to provide a social, medical, and economic base for the continued modernization of less-developed countries. This requires measures to improve the application of modern scientific knowledge to public health problems, education, the rationalization of agriculture, development of industries, improvement of vital statistics and national censuses, and to other studies of population trends. The United States aid program and the United Nations and related agencies have a major role to play in all activities that will help to develop the skilled personnel needed for modernization of a society. All these developments are good in their own right and also will contribute positively to the appreciation and solution of population problems throughout the world.
In addition, there is specific need for direct assistance in the implementation of policies relating to voluntary fertility control and family planning. It is to be hoped that such assistance will be provided by various interested governments, either bilaterally or through special multilateral arrangements. It should also be provided, at least in part, by private institutions and organizations, by foundations, and even through commercial channels.
4 Programs in the United States for the training of family-planning administrators should be improved and enlarged.
The effectiveness of family-planning programs in both highly developed and less-developed areas is limited by the lack of administrators skilled in carrying such programs to the people. In the end, such personnel can best be trained in field situations, for only there can they accumulate the necessary experience. Thus this country can perform a most useful service now by training administrators who will become instructors in their own countries. A few United States schools of public health now provide such training, but more and better programs and facilities are needed to train much larger groups. We see a need for the training of social workers and health educators through practical work in this country under the supervision of appropriate local officials.
Governments and individuals, and particularly underprivileged people in this country and elsewhere, should have the freest and fullest
access possible to the best information on matters of family planning as a basis for making their own decisions. Such information should be appropriate to the particular economic and social milieus of its recipients as well as to their medical and personal requirements. In short, both governmental and individual judgments on this important matter deserve the best available information that modern demography, social science, and bio-medical science can provide.
5 A committee should be established by the National Academy of Sciences for the purpose of stimulating and coordinating programs directed toward the solution of problems of uncontrolled growth of populations.
One of the major functions of this committee would be to ensure, by sponsoring special conferences, that the results of basic research being done in various laboratories are made available to appropriate organizations for effective utilization in applied work.
The complex nature of the problem, requiring the participation of many different social institutions (government, private organizations, industry, etc.), requires that some single agency such as this committee take the initiative in seeking ways and means of carrying out the recommendations of this report.
It is appropriate here to call attention to the interdisciplinary nature of population studies, requiring an integration of knowledge from many fields of the natural and social sciences: medicine, biology, economics, demography, sociology, and psychology. It appears to us that the Academy can perform a most valuable service by helping to further this interdisciplinary cooperation.
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The succeeding sections of this report indicate in broad outline the existing world situation in population growth trends. It is the factors determining those trends with which we must concern ourselves in preparing the broadest possible attack on this problem.