Public Meeting Registry

Major Unit: Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Subunit: Board on Environmental Change and Society
Project Unit: Committee on Sustainability Science: Preparing for 9 Billion on the Planet
Meeting Name: Sustainability Science: Can Earth’s and Society’s Systems Meet the Needs of 10 Billion People?
Meeting Start: 9/30/2013Meeting End:10/1/2013
Location: National Academy of Sciences building (NAS 120)
Comment: Much public discourse presumes that it is possible to achieve a future Earth that not only supports 10 billion people, but does so with a better average standard of living than 7 billion have now (or at least with a lower level of inequity). This view is often promoted through discussion of bringing into balance the “three pillars” of sustainability—economic, social, and environmental. However, this social paradigm is not entirely in line with the natural science paradigm that holds that there are limits to consumption of ecosystem services by one species, which if crossed, lead to a collapse of system function. The Presidents of the National Academies, concerned that the social and natural sciences may not be contributing as much to solving societal problems as they might, have recently provided funding for this initial public workshop. This workshop, within a systems framework, will explicitly emphasize the integration of the social sciences and the natural sciences that will be required to achieve sustainability for a larger human population. It will examine key issues of population size, distribution, growth, aging, and differential consumption, as well as land and water use and climate change and their effects on availability of resources to achieve improved well-being for a larger number of people.


For more information, Please contact:
Contact: Mary Ann Kasper
Contact Affiliation: Committee on Sustainability Science: Preparing for 9 Billion on the Planet
Phone: 202-334-1816


Preliminary meeting agenda:
Agenda can be viewed at