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
World Jan 20Could Australia’s bushfire disaster alter the conversation on climate change?
Australia has been suffering a summer of extreme weather and dire consequences. Thunderstorms and hail have been pelting eastern sections of the country, while strong winds have produced dust storms. Plus, drought conditions and devastating bushfires remain a major problem.
Health Jan 08How a growing trove of genetic data is informing medical breakthroughs
Individualized medicine, in which treatments are customized based on a patient’s unique DNA, is a rising field. Along with an ever-expanding genetic database, it offers tantalizing promise for solving some of medicine's most daunting challenges. But individualized medicine also carries…
World Dec 25Despite extreme weather and surging activism, 2019 saw political paralysis on climate
By almost any measure, 2019 was a year of especially sobering news on climate change, with grim warnings about what could happen in the future along with extreme weather events occurring now. The year also saw a global protest movement,…
Science Dec 11Researchers still striving to understand cause of vaping-related illnesses
State governments continue to crack down on flavored e-cigarettes and other vape products, largely in response to the deaths and illnesses that began coming to light this past summer. But as lawmakers deliberate over their policy response to vaping, researchers…
Science Oct 11Can ultrasound be used to fight Alzheimer’s?
At age 61, Judi Polak is five years into a bleak diagnosis: Alzheimer’s disease. But last year she made medical history in a clinical trial, when a team of scientists, engineers and practitioners deployed a novel device to take aim…
Science Oct 09After Dorian, Bahamas’ path to recovery is obscured by uncertainty
More than five weeks since Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, the complexities of the storm and the recovery are in some ways just beginning to reveal themselves. But scientists also say the long game for the Bahamas is very uncertain,…
Science Sep 18What rising temperatures in the Gulf of Maine mean for the state’s lobster industry
The Gulf of Maine is known for lobsters, which form the foundation of an industry critical to the state’s economy. Due to climate change, the waters off southern New England have become too warm for the temperature-sensitive crustaceans, leaving Maine…
Arts Sep 11How blockchain technology could revolutionize the art market
The technology underpinning blockchain is a powerful decentralizing network architecture that could revolutionize many industries. Now, some artists are leveraging blockchain to help guarantee the authenticity of their work -- and ensure that they get paid. Miles O’Brien reports on…
Science Aug 14The danger of coal ash, the toxic dust the fossil fuel leaves behind
Coal ash is a particularly dangerous byproduct of our dependence on fossil fuels. In communities that have dealt with coal ash spills, the incidents sparked concerns about toxins potentially seeping into water. Utilities have been pushed to adopt tougher safety…
Science Jul 19As Trump administration pushes for new space exploration, critics question its costs
The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission is being commemorated extensively, including at the White House, where President Trump recognized the crew's two surviving members. Their conversation included discussion of a new push to travel to the far side…