About Miles @milesobrien
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 Recent Stories
Nation Dec 05The robots are coming. Will they work with us?
In the latest installment of our Future of Work series, Miles O’Brien visits MIT’s Interactive Robotics Laboratory to understand the “new species” of robots scientists are designing to work alongside humans safely. Though the devices often excel at repetitive tasks,…
Science Nov 28How this spacecraft will sample an asteroid’s rocks, without even landing on it
More than two years after it launched, a spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx is approaching its target, an asteroid named Bennu. Scientists hope that rock samples from Bennu will provide insight into the likelihood of life on other planets, as well as…
Nation Nov 26NASA hopes InSight will illuminate Mars’ unknown core
NASA has successfully landed its spacecraft InSight on Mars, after a long and challenging voyage. Scientists hope InSight will uncover details of what’s under the surface of Mars, including whether the planet’s core is liquid or solid. Science correspondent Miles…
Nation Oct 10What’s on your citrus fruit? Trump’s EPA fights to keep controversial insecticide in use
Citrus growers hope to fend off fruit-munching katydids, but one weapon is under scrutiny. Researchers found that children growing up near fields where the insecticide chlorpyrifos was deployed exhibited autism-like symptoms. A court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to ban…
Science Oct 03Will climate change turn Miami into a ‘future Atlantis’?
Florida research professors studying climate change have serious warnings for the Magic City. They say that Miami’s buildings have come a long way in becoming more resistant to sustained, heavy winds. However, the city’s infrastructure may not be prepared to…
Science Sep 19How a warming world may have caused Hurricane Florence to stall
What is causing weather systems like Harvey and Florence to slow down and produce historic rainfall and flooding? Science correspondent Miles O’Brien looks at the growing risk of hurricanes and the evidence that it’s tied to climate change.
Science Sep 12Flying into hurricanes, scientists search for more certainty
How do meteorologists and scientists make predictions about the power and trajectory of a hurricane? Buckle up. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien joins a crew of scientists who fly right into the eye of Hurricane Florence.
Science Aug 29The EPA isn’t taking its own advice on a pesticide that causes brain damage in children
After decades of research and debate, the EPA was on the cusp of banning all use of chlorpyrifos, a poison that attacks the nervous system. But in 2017, then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt delayed a decision by five years. Science correspondent…
Science Jul 25Life on Mars? Watery new discovery raises tantalizing possibilities
Scientists have finally found for the first time a large watery reservoir beneath the southern ice cap of Mars. Radar suggests it is more than 12 miles wide and similar in some ways to lakes found beneath the Greenland and…
Science Jul 11NASA scientists track climate-changing methane leaks from the air
Science correspondent Miles O’Brien joins us from the atmosphere above Southern California, where NASA engineers leverage state-of-the-art technology to measure methane. Released through oil and gas production, livestock emissions, and organic waste, methane is about 85 times more potent at…