Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (Harvard Chan C-CHANGE), a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Bernstein focuses on the health impacts of the climate crisis on children’s health and advancing solutions to address its causes to improve the health and wellbeing of children around the world.

In 2019, Dr. Bernstein testified before Congress on the child health impacts of climate change, drawing from his personal experience as a pediatrician having to treat children with breathing difficulties, vector-borne diseases, and trauma from natural disasters. He is a trusted voice for major news outlets, providing interviews and expertise to reporters from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CNN, and The Guardian, and writing articles for the New England Journal of Medicine, the British Medical Journal, and the Boston Globe, among others.

With Nobel Laureate Dr. Eric Chivian, Dr. Bernstein co-authored and co-edited the Oxford University Press book, Sustaining Life, which received the distinction of best biology book of 2008 from the Library Journal, and which has been published in several foreign language editions.

Dr. Bernstein leads Climate MD, a Harvard Chan C-CHANGE program to encourage physicians to transform climate change from an issue dominated by politics and concerns about the future or faraway places, to one that matters to every person’s health here and now. He is the course director for Human Health and Global Environmental Change and created the HarvardX course “The Health Effects of Climate Change” which explores how climate change influences health through its effects on air quality, nutrition, infectious diseases, and human migration as well as solutions to the climate crisis. Through this course, thousands of students from over 100 countries have learned how climate change directly impacts their lives, and what they can do to become part of the solution.

In 2015, he was awarded a Lokey-Businesswire visiting professorship at Stanford University and has also been a visiting professor at Columbia University. Dr. Bernstein has been a member of the Harvard President’s Climate Change Task Force and co-Chairs the University Food Standards Committee.

He serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health Executive Committee as well as the External Advisory Board of the Dalio Center for Health Justice at New York Presbyterian Hospital, is Chair of the Board of Directors at the U.S. Green Building Council, and is on the Board of Advisors at Parents Magazine as an environmental health specialist. Previously, Dr. Bernstein served on the Board of Scientific Counselors to the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, he received graduate degrees in medicine (MD) and public health (MPH), from the University of Chicago and Harvard University, respectively. He is a recipient of Stanford University’s Firestone Medal for Research and a Harvard University Zuckerman Fellowship.

An avid bicyclist, Dr. Bernstein pedals to and from work year-round.

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Episode 80: Earth Month 2021: Restoring Our Earth - Biodiversity, Extinction and Our Health

Dr. Aaron Bernstein draws the connection between the effects of climate change our eco system and our health.

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San Jose Clinic in Texas

Pilot Project Aims to Build Climate Resilience at TX Health Clinics

Three community health centers in Texas are participating in a pilot project with Harvard Chan C-CHANGE to enhance their response to climate change.

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Screenshot of Dr. Aaron Bernstein speaking in a video

On Earth Day, US Power Brokers Acknowledge the Scale and Urgency of the Climate Crisis

Continued reliance on oil, gas, and especially coal is killing millions of people around the world every year, says our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein.

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natural gas well rig in Frederick, CO

Pennsylvania setback regulations for fracking do not prevent setback incidents

The first study to look at the effectiveness of PA's statewide setback regulations and identify the potential risks and exposures for people living near fracking or UNG wells.

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Climate protestors hold signs at a rally in NYC

The fight for environmental justice

Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Salas speak about their work to right the wrongs of decades of discriminatory policy.

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screenshot of Action Planet

Action Planet: Meeting the Climate Challenge

Our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein joins Vice President Kamala Harris, Gina McCarthy, and others for a 1-hour Earth Day special, hosted by NowThis' Zinhle Essamuah.

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A young girl playing outside

What Earth Day means to our children

A healthier planet nurtures healthier young patients, says our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein in his Earth Day Coverage column.

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A child gets a piggyback ride in front of a sunset

Pediatricians’ voices grow louder on climate’s impact on child health, equity

“Our job is to keep children healthy, and we can’t do that without tackling climate change," says our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein.

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A young Black man wearing a face mask sits on steps outside a brick building

With COVID spread, ‘racism — not race — is the risk factor’

Harvard experts, including our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein, take a hard look at health inequities.

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Masked clinic workers provide dental services to a patient

Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Launches Project to Increase Climate Resilience at Community Health Clinics in Four States

Harvard Chan C-CHANGE is working with Americares to identify, support, and prepare clinics to address climate-related impacts on health and healthcare delivery to help buffer risks to the patients they serve and improve health outcomes.

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