Science, Maths & Technology

OU on the BBC: Don't Panic – The Truth About Population

Updated Friday 13th December 2013

Professor Hans Rosling uses 3D graphics to show how the world's population is changing.

Hans Rosling and Don't Panic title graphic Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC Using state of the art 3D graphics and the timing of a stand-up comedian, world famous statistician Professor Hans Rosling presents a spectacular portrait of our rapidly changing world.

With 7 billion people already on our planet we often look to the future with dread, but Rosling's message is surprisingly upbeat.

Almost unnoticed we have actually begun to conquer the problems of rapid population growth and extreme poverty.

Across the world, even in countries like Bangladesh, families of just two children are now the norm - meaning that within a few generations the population explosion will be over.

A smaller proportion of people now live in extreme poverty than ever before in human history and the United Nations has set a target of eradicating it altogether within a few decades.

In this as-live studio event Rosling presents a statistical tour-de-force, including his 'ignorance survey' which demonstrates how British university graduates would be outperformed by chimpanzees in a test of knowledge about developing countries.

Watch Don't Panic on BBC Two

Don't Panic forms part of the BBC Two's 'This World' series. You can watch this episode on Thursday 7 November at 9pm. Regional variations, details of repeats and more information can be found on the BBC website.

 

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