Edward A. (Ted) Parson is Dan and Rae Emmett Professor of Environmental Law and Faculty Director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. Parson studies international environmental law and policy, the societal impacts and governance of disruptive technologies including geoengineering and artificial intelligence, and the political economy of regulation. Parson leads the AI Pulse program at UCLA Law, and organized the 2019 Summer Institute on AI and Society. His articles have appeared in scientific and scholarly journals in a wide range of fields, including Science, Nature, Climatic Change, Future, Issues in Science and Technology, the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. His most recent books are The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change (with Andrew Dessler) (3rd ed. Cambridge, 2019), and A Subtle Balance: Evidence, Expertise, and Democracy in Public Policy and Governance, 1970-2010 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2015). His 2003 book, Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy (Oxford), won the Sprout Award of the International Studies Association and is widely recognized as the authoritative account of the development of international cooperation to protect the ozone layer.
Parson has led and served on multiple advisory committees, for the National Academy of Sciences, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and other national and international bodies. His work was influential in establishing the World Commission on Climate Overshoot, for which he serves as a senior advisor. He was formerly Joseph L. Sax Collegiate Professor of Law and Professor of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, and spent twelve years on the faculty of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In addition to his academic positions, Parson has worked and consulted for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, the Privy Council Office of the Government of Canada, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). He holds degrees in physics from the University of Toronto and in management science from the University of British Columbia, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard. In former lives, he was a professional classical musician and an organizer of grass-roots environmental groups.