Paul Ehrlich

Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is currently the Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in 1957 from the University of Kansas. He is a renowned entomologist specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies). He is also well known as a researcher and author on the subject of human overpopulation notably for his 1968 book The Population Bomb.


Life and career
Education and academic career
Ehrlich earned a B.A. in zoology in 1953 at the University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in 1955 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and a Ph.D. in 1957 at the University of Kansas, under the prominent bee researcher C.D. Michener. During his studies he took part in surveys of insects on the Bering Sea and in the Canadian Arctic, and then on a National Institutes of Health fellowship, investigated the genetics and behavior of parasitic mites. In 1959 he joined the faculty at Stanford, being promoted to full professor of biology in 1966. He was named to the Bing Professorship in 1977.

Ehrlich currently is the president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society.

Ehrlich's research group at Stanford currently works extensively on the study of natural populations of checkerspot butterflies (Euphydryas). Along with Dr. Gretchen Daily, he has conducted work in "countryside biogeography", or the study of making human-disturbed areas hospitable to biodiversity. Ehrlich continues to conduct policy research on population and resource issues, focusing especially on endangered species, cultural evolution, environmental ethics, and the preservation of genetic resources.

Marriage and family
On December 18, 1954, Paul Ehrlich married the former Anne Fitzhugh Howland, a research assistant. They remain married and have one child, Lisa Marie.

Other activities
Ehrlich was one of the founders of the group Zero Population Growth in 1968, along with Richard Bowers and Charles Remington.
He and his wife Anne were on the board of advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform until 2003. With Stephen Schneider and two other authors, writing in the January 2002 issue of Scientific American, he critiqued Bjørn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist.

Ehrlich wrote an article that appeared in New Scientist in December 1967. In that article, Ehrlich predicted that the world would experience famines sometime between 1970 and 1985 due to population growth outstripping resources. Ehrlich wrote that "the battle to feed all of humanity is over ... In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now." Ehrlich also stated, "India couldn't possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980," and "I have yet to eet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks that India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971."
These predictions did not come to pass, but the predictions led to a book (The Population Bomb), the founding of Zero Population Growth, a vigorous policy debate, and severe criticism of Ehrlich.

Supporters of Ehrlich point to the impact of The Population Bomb and the ZPG organization in helping to raise awareness about overpopulation and in helping to change U.S. laws to make birth control and other reproductive health care more easily available. The U.S. fertility rate dropped from 3.42 children per woman in the early 1960s to 1.8 by 1975, and ZPG credits Ehrlich's influence along with the efforts of National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the U.S. Supreme Court for helping to bring this about. However, since similar declines occurred throughout the developed world, the causality of these influences is far from clear.

Ehrlich has written numerous books on the subjects of ecology, entomology, overpopulation, and related subjects. His best known book is The Population Bomb, published in 1968.

How to Know the Butterflies (1960)
Process of Evolution (1963)
The Population Bomb (1968)
Population, Resources, Environments: Issues in Human Ecology (1970)
How to Be a Survivor (1971)
Man and the Ecosphere: Readings from Scientific American (1971)
Human Ecology: Problems and Solutions (1973)
Introductory Biology (1973)
The End of Affluence (1975)
Biology and Society (1976)
Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment (1978)
The Race Bomb (1978)
Extinction (1981)
The Golden Door: International Migration, Mexico, and the United States (1981)
The Cold and the Dark: The World After Nuclear War (1984, co-authored with Carl Sagan, Donald Kennedy, and Walter Orr Roberts)
Earth (1987, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
Science of Ecology (1987, co-authored with Joan Roughgarden)
The Cassandra Conference: Resources and the Human Predicament (1988)
The Population Explosion (1990, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
Healing the Planet: Strategies for Resolving the Environmental Crisis (1991, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
Birds in Jeopardy: The Imperiled and Extinct Birds of the United States and Canada, Including Hawaii and Puerto Rico (1992, co-authored with David S. Dobkin and Darryl Wheye)
The Stork and the Plow : The Equity Answer to the Human Dilemma (1995)
A World of Wounds: Ecologists and the Human Dilemma (1997)
Betrayal of Science and Reason: How Anti-Environment Rhetoric Threatens Our Future (1998, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
Human Natures: Genes, Cultures, and the Human Prospect (2002)
One With Nineveh: Politics, Consumption, and the Human Future (2004, co-authored with Anne Ehrlich)
On the Wings of Checkerspots: A Model System for Population Biology (2004, edited volume, co-edited with Ilkka Hanski)
New World, New Mind: Moving Towards Conscious Evolution (1988, co-authored with Robert Ornstein)

Ehrlich has been recognized for his work with the following awards:

The John Muir Award of the Sierra Club
The Gold Medal Award of the World Wildlife Fund International
A MacArthur Prize Fellowship
The Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
ECI Prize winner in terrestrial ecology in 1993
A World Ecology Award from the International Center for Tropical Ecology, University of Missouri in 1993
The Volvo Environmental Prize in 1993
The United Nations Sasakawa Environment Prize in 1994
The Heinz Award for the Environment in 1995
The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement in 1998
The Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences in 1998
The Blue Planet Prize in 1999
The Eminent Ecologist Award of the Ecological Society of America in 2001
The Distinguished Scientist Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences in 2001

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