Miles O'Brien
Science Correspondent

Miles O'Brien

Miles O’Brien is veteran, independent journalist who focuses on science, technology and aerospace.

He is the science correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series.

For nearly seventeen of his thirty-two years in the news business, he worked for CNN as the science, environment and aerospace space correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.

While at CNN, he secured a deal with NASA to become the first journalist to fly on the space shuttle. The project ended with the loss of Columbia and her crew in 2003 – a story he told to the world in a critically acclaimed sixteen-hour marathon of live coverage.

Prior to joining CNN, he worked as a reporter at television stations in Boston, Tampa, Albany, NY and St. Joseph, MO. He began his television career as a desk assistant at WRC-TV in Washington, DC.

O’Brien is an accomplished aviator and aircraft owner who often pilots his airplane to assignments, and is frequently called upon to explain the world of aviation to a mass audience.

He has won numerous awards over the years, including a half-dozen Emmys, and a Peabody and DuPont for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, he is based in Washington, DC. He has a son at the US Naval Academy and a daughter at Davidson College in North Carolina. He was a history major at Georgetown University.

Miles's Most Recent Stories

  • June 14, 2017

    Coal is still very much at the center of the debate on the future of energy. For some, the holy grail is a new type of technology that captures some coal carbon emissions. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien joins Judy Woodruff to take a closer look at the results coming out of one of the largest fossil fuel power plants in the country and the obstacles stopping them from collecting more. Continue reading

  • March 22, 2017

    Coral reefs are more than examples of natural beauty; they harbor fish that feed millions and shield us against storms and floods. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the largest living structure on the planet, is dying. As ocean waters steadily warm, extensive coral destruction continues, part of an unprecedented global crisis. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on what’s at stake. Continue reading

  • December 14, 2016

    Astronomers believe that the perfect spot for the next big observatory is atop the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. But the proposed location for the $1.4 billion project is on land sacred to the native Hawaiian culture, and a legal challenge over the project has halted construction. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports. Continue reading

  • September 28, 2016

    Our love/hate relationship with lead is as old as history itself. The origin of “plumbing” comes from the Latin word for lead. But only in the 1970s did we realize the consequences of even low doses of the hazardous metal, and by then it was in our pipes, our paint and our fuel. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien examines the lasting health consequences. Continue reading

  • September 21, 2016

    In light of the recent bombings in New York and New Jersey, science correspondent Miles O’Brien takes a look at a new technology that is increasingly being used by law enforcement: bomb-disarming robots. Operated from a safe distance, these robots can blast through car windows and even kill, raising ethical issues about how they should be used. Continue reading