Clare Hall Colloquium - Professor David Cope

Professor David Cope (Foundation Fellow, Clare Hall and former Director, UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology) discusses 'On the Number of the People'.


"Last September, a respected UK think tank, the Social Market Foundation, called for a special House of Lords inquiry into the issues said to arise from a 'low' fertility rate in the UK. Is such an inquiry necessary? The UK is not the only country which has seen debates on population levels over the past 50 or more years. In western and east Asian countries, there have increasingly been calls for 'pronatalist' policies to raise current and projected birthrates. I will critically examine the concept of an 'optimum population' and argue that it has little value for policy-making, something I first maintained in Nature 48 years ago! I would welcome those who come from or have knowledge of such countries to give us the benefit of the nature of the debate in their countries."

If you would like a copy of the Nature one-pager, or of the 24-page Social Market Foundation report, please email David on

Tuesday 30 November, 7.30pm, Clare Hall Meeting Room

To book, please email the convenor, Professor Kevin Edwards, via with your full name, affiliation to the College and the number of tickets you’d like. Spaces are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. 

The Colloquia provide members of the College - especially Visiting Fellows and Life Members - with an opportunity to present their research, whether in its early stages or already published, in a friendly setting. They are a great way to discuss your ideas, meet fellow members and to contribute to our vibrant community. 

All slots for Michaelmas Term and most of those for Lent Term are already allocated. If you wish to be placed on a reserve list or to offer a talk for Easter Term, then please email Professor Kevin Edwards via

Following the latest announcements from the UK government with regards the emergence of the Omicron variant, Clare Hall now requires the use of facial coverings in public areas, unless dining. All College members are encouraged to continue taking LFTs at least twice per week, and to use the Asymptomatic Testing Scheme if eligible.