Richard Jackson

University of California
Environmental Health Sciences
UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
650 Charles E. Young Drive, 51-297B CHS
Los Angeles, CA
USA 90095


Richard Jackson is a Professor at the Fielding School of Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Jackson’s areas of interest include environmental impacts on health ranging from toxicology, chemical body burdens, terrorism, sustainability, climate change, urban design and architecture. A pediatrician, he has served in many leadership positions in both environmental health and infectious disease with the California Health Department, including the highest as the State Health Officer. There he was instrumental in conceptualizing laws to reduce risks from pesticides, especially to farm workers and to children. For nine years he was Director of the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health in Atlanta and received the Presidential Distinguished Service award. While at the CDC, he was a national and international leader, including leading the federal effort to "biomonitor" chemical levels in the US population. He has received the Breast Cancer Fund’s Hero Award, as well as Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Public Health Law Association, and the New Partners for Smart Growth. In 2011 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2012, he received the John Heinz Award for Leadership in the Environment.


Medicine and Meteorology: We Need Each Other

Medicine and meteorology are essential beacons in churning waters. Both fields identify dangers: acute and chronic, immediate and long term. Both operate between science and humanity, struggle with partial and changing data, and work under demands for immediate decisions and forecast. When we err, the pain can be unbearable. We fail when our patients and publics ignore us, and “I told you so!” is a pitiful response. Both must have messages heard by patients and politicians--soon and well. Jackson will consider some success stories from the health world and how they can be brought to bear on atmospheric threats.