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Historical Profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Essay

Demography is the scientific study of population size, structure(or composition), spatial distribution and development of human population overtime (McFalls, 2007). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to present a historical profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Institute and their major contributions to the development of demography. In opening the paper began by defining demography. It will progress by introducing who Notestein was there after his contributions to development of demography. Furthermore, the paper will present a historical profile of the Guttmacher Institute. Finally, the organization’s contributions made to development of demography will be presented. A conclusion will then be drawn.

Having defined what demography is the paper will now bring in who Notestein was there after his contributions to development of demography. Frank W. (Wallace) Notestein was born in Alma, Michigan in 1902, Notestein received his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster in 1923. He received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University in 1927 and was an Economics instructor there from 1926-1927. From 1927 through 1928, Notestein worked abroad as a researcher of the Social Sciences Research Council. He began work for the Milbank Memorial Fund as a research assistant and then became a member of its technical staff from 1929 through 1936. In 1936, Notestein began as a Lecturer at Princeton University. At the same time, he developed and directed the Office of Population Research (OPR) at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with funding from the Milbank Memorial Fund.

By 1941, Notestein had attained full professorship as the Director of the OPR and as a professor of Demography, holding both titles until his resignation in 1959. Notestein remained as Acting Director of the OPR for the fall 1959 term while his successor, Ansley J. Coale, took a vacation. After Notestein’s resignation, he remained involved at Princeton as a “Visiting Senior Demographer” through 1963. In addition, he was a “Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs, “at Princeton beginning in 1968. He maintained both positions until June 1982.Notestein’s resignation from full professorship and director of the OPR at Princeton allowed him to become the president of the Population Council (PC) until 1968. Notestein had been a trustee of the PC since its establishment.

Along with Notestein’s positions at Princeton and the PC, he was the organizer and first director of the Population Division of the United Nations, 1946-1948. He chaired the Technical Advisory Committee on Population for the 1950 United States Census and was a member of the 1960 United States Census Committee. Notestein was a researcher of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Sociological Association, and the American Statistical Association.

He was a member of the American Eugenics Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Statistical Institute, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, the Population Association of America, and the Century Association. Notestein married Daphne Limbach in 1927; they had no children. He passed away in 1983 Notestein’s Contributions to Demography, Frank W. (Wallace) Notestein contributed a lot to the science of demography and to a better understanding of population problems in world affairs, especially through his work on family planning and population control. The following are some of the major contributions he made to development of demography. He worked for the Milbank Memorial Fund, an endowed national foundation that supports nonpartisan analysis, study, and research on significant issues in health policy, as a research assistant and then became a member of its technical staff from 1929 through 1936. Here he worked on differential fertility, the total genetic contribution to the next generation (Alter, 1992) The OPR focused on the study of the interrelation of population growth and change in underdeveloped areas and on the social and psychological factors affecting fertility in the American family.

When he was the president of the Population Council (PC ) until 1968. He helped to study and promote understanding of the scientific aspects of population change throughout the world by fostering scientific theory and research in social, economic and medical fields. As the organizer and first director of the Population Division of the United Nations, he advised India’s Minister of Health on population policies and beginning a population center for training and research on demography in India in 1955. In addition, as chairperson of the Technical Advisory Committee on Population for the 1950 United States Census and as a member of the 1960 United States Census Committee, Notestein was a co-editor of the Population Index, a bibliography of population literature that was the official publication of the Population Association of American and the OPR from 1936-1957. He co-authored Controlled Fertility in 1940 and The Future Population of Europe and the Soviet Union in 1944, as well as authoring numerous journal publications. Moving on further, the paper will now present a historical profile of the Guttmacher Institute .

The Guttmacher Institute traces its origins from the Center for Family Planning Program Development. It was founded in 1968 by Alan F. Guttmacher (1898-1974). At the time, he was president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, an obstetrician-gynecologist, an author and a leader in reproductive rights. By 1968, Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had begun to call the public’s attention to the problem of unplanned and unwanted childbearing and its consequences for individual women and men, their children and their communities both at home and abroad. Concurrently, the United States Congress was taking its first steps toward the development of an international population assistance program, as well as a versatile, national program aimed at providing equitable access to modern methods of birth control in the United States.

By putting together nonpartisan social science research, policy analysis and public education, the Center hoped to provide a factual basis for the development of sound governmental policies and for public consideration of the sensitive issues involved in the promotion of reproductive health and rights. This purpose and commitment continue today [ http://www.guttmacher.org/sections/index.php] The Center was originally housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Its program, however, was independently developed and overseen by a National Advisory Council separate from the PPFA Board of Directors. Its early development was nurtured by Alan F. Guttmacher, an eminent obstetrician-gynecologist, teacher and writer who was PPFA’s president for more than a decade until his death in 1974.

The Center was renamed in Dr. Guttmacher’s memory, and the Guttmacher Institute incorporated as an entirely independent nonprofit policy research institute with its own Board in 1977. The Guttmacher Institute maintains offices in New York and Washington. Its current staff of 78 comprises demographers, social scientists, public policy analysts, editors, writers, communications specialists, and financial and technical personnel. A few of its employees have been with the organization for most of its existence, and an affiliation that goes back 10 or 15 years is not unusual. The Institute’s work is guided by a 40-member board made up of eminent professionals from a rich variety of disciplines, as well as civic leaders from across the United States and around the world. The Guttmacher Institute’s annual budget of approximately $14 million is derived largely from private foundations, government agencies, multilateral organizations and individual contributions.

Contributions

To begin with the organization provided a factual basis for the development of sound governmental policies and for public consideration of the sensitive issues involved in the promotion of reproductive health and rights (Srinivasan, 1998) Also, the Guttmacher I supplied information that was more current than the data from the the Division of Reproductive Health of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion thereby providing reliable demographic information. They issued their report on 2005-May-19 which was based on 2001 & 2002 data. They found that the abortion rates in the U.S. continued to drop, although the rate of decrease has slowed since the early 1990s: the rate of abortion declined among women aged 15 to 44 from 21.3 in 2000 to 21.1 in 2001 and 20.9 in 2002. These are decreases of 0.8% a year .This compared with a rise in the number of abortions in the UK from 181,600 in 2003 to a record high of 185,400 in 2004 — a 2% increase.

Abortions for girls under 14 years of age increased by 6 %. (http://www.lifesite.net/Decline+in+Number+and/html) Bringing this discussion closer home, the Guttmacher Institute and Youth Vision Zambia partnered to collaborate on a project with the primary goal of increasing understanding among priority audiences of the incidence of unsafe abortion in Zambia, in an effort to improve access to sexual and reproductive health information and services and contribute to a reduction in the incidence of unsafe abortion. (http://www.yvz.org.zm/?page_id=75) Now in its fifth decade, the Guttmacher Institute remains committed to the mission and goals that led to its creation.

For instance, the organization recently did some work on The Incidence of Induced Abortion in Uganda, where they concluded that unsafe abortion exacts a heavy toll on women in Uganda. To reduce unplanned pregnancy and unsafe abortion, and to improve women’s health, increased access to contraceptive services is needed for all women. (Ankungo, 2005) In conclusion, the paper has presented a historical profile on Frank W. Notestein and Guttmacher Institute and their major contributions to the development of demography. It can be concluded that both the person and the organization are significant to development of demography. For instance, Notstein’s study and research of the scientific aspects of population change throughout the world has fostered scientific theory and research in social, economic and medical fields. In terms of the institute, provides a factual starting point in demographic information and methods which aid governments in coming up with informed policies.


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