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
Science May 20What computer-based models can tell us about coronavirus — and what they can’t
For months, scientists and public officials have relied upon computer-based models to try to predict the trajectory or the coronavirus outbreak. But models are not crystal balls, and all of them involve human assumptions. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on…
Health May 06Are Americans in medical crisis avoiding the ER due to coronavirus?
Since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the United States, Americans have been told to avoid emergency rooms and hospitals if possible. But now there are reports from across the country that suggest the warning may be in fact too effective, as…
Science Feb 19A risky expedition to study the ‘doomsday glacier’
The Thwaites Glacier is the largest, most menacing source of rising sea levels all over the world, and it is melting at an alarming rate. For years, scientists have warily watched it from afar, but in November, a team set…
World Feb 05Australian bushfires prompt conversation about land management practices
Bushfires are still burning in parts of Australia. So far this season, they have claimed the lives of more than 30 people and destroyed tens of millions of acres of land. The ensuing toll on forest and wildlife has prompted…
Science Jan 29Wildlife experts rush to rescue Australian animals after bushfire crisis
Australia’s bushfires have devastated the country’s wildlife and habitats. Experts say the very existence of some species whose populations were already at vulnerable levels may now hang in the balance. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports from Australia on the country’s…
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…