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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 12, 2015

    Some disasters are more transparent than others. As we departed JFK airport on our way to Brussels and ultimately Freetown, Sierra Leone, we flew right over the Rockaways and Broad Channel, NY. Photojournalist Cameron Hickey was sitting right beside me. … Continue reading

  • June 5, 2015

    In Sierra Leone, health care workers use infrared thermometers to monitor those who may have come in contact with Ebola. It takes 21 days before they can be deemed virus-free. That’s why researchers are trying to create more precise infection detection. In the second in the series, science correspondent Miles O’Brien looks at the efforts to create faster, more reliable testing for the virus. Continue reading

  • June 4, 2015

    The deadly Ebola virus normally spreads among animals but occasionally spills over to humans, to dire effect. To understand how such diseases make that jump, scientists must find the animal host. But the hunt for live samples of Ebola in animals has never turned up a smoking gun. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien follows epidemiologists in Sierra Leone on their hunt for deadly diseases. Continue reading

  • March 27, 2015

    The crash of Germanwings flight 9525 offers yet another example of how the layers of safety in aviation have been peeled away since deregulation 35 years ago. Continue reading

  • March 6, 2015

    Science correspondent Miles O’Brien joins Judy Woodruff to discuss two space stories that center around the search for life and how it began. NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived in orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres, which scientists believe shows signs of life-sustaining water. Meanwhile, new research found that Mars once had enough water to cover 20 percent of the planet. Continue reading