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, 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.
Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and Biogen to help under-resourced healthcare clinics become more climate-resilient and improve patient health
The first residency curriculum to better prepare doctors for climate change
New framework can teach medical residents how climate changes affects health, clinical care, and health care delivery.
Kate Bosworth, Eric Christian Olsen, & other actors join Harvard and EMA to launch new climate web series
‘Mixed-ish,’ ‘Shark Tank’ and ‘John Oliver’ Win Top Prizes at Environmental Media Association Awards
Olas de calor extremo: Lo que los expertos recomiendan para detener a este "asesino silencioso"
Heat waves kill more people than any other type of extreme weather event. Naming them as we do hurricanes can raise awareness and help people prepare.
Stop the next pandemic: Conservation as public health policy
How do we prevent a future pandemic? Our Director Dr. Aaron Bernstein's talks about how protecting forests and regulating wildlife change are powerful solutions.
Slowing deforestation could save humanity from the next pandemic
Our new study suggests how we could avoid the next pandemic by spending just a fraction of what we've spent on COVID-19 to curb deforestation and the wildlife trade.
The next virus pandemic is not far away
Future pandemics like COVID-19 are likely unless we take climate action. Here's how.
Arsht Resilience Center wants heat waves classified like hurricanes
To fight dangerous heat waves expected to drive up the number of days with extreme temperatures, it's time to #NameTheWave.
Scientists unveil a plan to prevent the next pandemic (and save nature at the same time)
We can fight climate change and prevent the next pandemic at the same time.