Biology of Populations. The Biological Basis of Public Health

Edited by B. K. Sladen and F. B. Bang. xxii + 449 pages, illustrated. American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc., 52 Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10017. 1969

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  • Department of Health Education, School of Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514

“The carrying capacity of the world for human population is not known. … If present rates of increase continue, there could be 500 billion people in the year 2200,” writes George B. Shaller in the concluding chapter of Section 1, Population Growth and Ecology.

Ominous predictions about man's rate of increase are not new, and pollution of the environment has become a household topic of conversation with political overtones. What is new is the concerted effort of a faculty of public health to produce so clear and pertinent a book as Biology of Populations. The chapters are succinct, usually making their points with well-chosen studies and a minimum of extraneous material. The result is at times frustrating. Not every topic can be adequately covered in so limited a space; yet the text is highly readable.