The Population Studies & Training Center (PSTC) was established by a small core of Sociology faculty in 1965. Founder and distinguished professor Sidney Goldstein served as its director until 1989, and was instrumental in its evolution to an internationally respected center for demographic research and training.
The founding of the PSTC coincided with a time of growing interest in population studies. Originally conceptualized as a framework for coordinating research and training activities, the center expanded steadily. The original core of Sociology faculty members was soon joined by scholars from Economics, Anthropology, and the health research community. The center received its first National Institute of Health (NIH) infrastructure support in 1991, and it continues to this day. In 2004, the PSTC moved from its original cluster of rooms in Maxcy Hall to its own building — the historic, newly renovated four-floor Mencoff Hall in the center of Brown’s campus.
Research in the early years was focused on social demographic topics like population distribution, family and households, and development. Today’s associates continue the center’s legacy of excellence in training, and emphasize the collection of original, international data within the local cultural context. New and innovative research topics have developed, such as the application of spatial research to population studies. To read more about the current research themes, visit our research page.