New Centre on global population and education research opens in Vienna

Wien, (PresseBox) - The newly established Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital located in Vienna, Austria aims to be a leader in the demographic analyses of human capital formation and its impact on society, the economy and the environment.

With a focus on global population, and in cooperation with the University of Oxford, one of the Centre's first projects is to produce new science-based population projections for all countries of the world. For the first time, these projections will not only give the age and sex structures of populations but also labor force participation and health status. Such information is necessary for the establishment of priorities for social and economic policies at a national level as well as for global development and environmental policies.

The new Wittgenstein Centre is a collaboration between the Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), and the new Research Institute on Human Capital and Development, Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). It builds on an existing and highly successful collaboration over the past years and is made possible by several European Research Council (ERC) Grants and the Wittgenstein Prize 2010. In addition to existing staff, over a dozen researchers are being recruited from all over the world. Scientific advice and guidance will be ensured by a scientific advisory board under the direction of Sir Partha Dasgupta (Professor of Economics, Cambridge University).

Founding Director of the new Centre is Professor Wolfgang Lutz from IIASA, WU and the VID, who is also the recipient of the ERC Advanced Grant 2008 and Wittgenstein Prize 2010. William Butz, immediate past President of the Population Reference Bureau, Washington, will act as Director of Coordination and Outreach. Jesus Crespo (WU and IIASA) will be Director of Economic Analysis, Sergei Scherbov (ÖAW and IIASA) Director of Demographic Analysis and Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz (TU-Vienna and ÖAW) Director of Research Training.

In addition to the above mentioned Directors, the following people will lead research teams within the Centre: Human Reproduction (Tomas Sobotka), Health and Mortality (Marc Luy, ERC Starting Grant 2010), Education Policy and Planning (Bilal Barakat), Age, Cohort and Cognitive Skills (Vegard Skirbekk, ERC Starting Grant 2009), Modelling Human Capital (Samir KC), Human Capital Data Lab (Anne Goujon) as well as Migration and Education (Nikola Sander). The 12 research leaders represent 11 nationalities. In addition, the Centre is recruiting an international team of post-doctoral and doctoral students.

An international symposium entitled "Demography, Education and Democracy: A global Perspective" will be held on 29th September 2011 at the historic assembly hall of the Austrian Parliament.

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