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 Dec 13Climate change is part of California’s perfect recipe for intense wildfire
Long before the current devastation in California, scientists had built a strong case linking a changing climate to more wildfires. Since hotter weather promotes drought and drought increases the chances of fire, rising temperatures have intensified the risks. Science correspondent…
Science Nov 29For this doctor, a son’s recent death by overdose inspires his mission to rescue others
Dr. Jim Baker dreaded getting that call for years: his son had fatally overdosed from opioids. He had watched Max go through the downward spiral of addiction, then recover and get sober, but a hospitalization for a car crash made…
Science Nov 15Can humans cope with long space travel? Astronaut Scott Kelly spent a year as a guinea pig
A year in space isn’t for the faint of heart. Retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, author of a new book, “Endurance,” sits down with science correspondent Miles O’Brien to discuss the physical effects of a long space mission and what…
Science Nov 08Can Cuba preserve ecosystems while profiting from tourism?
As Cuba tries to open up its economy and lure western investment through tourism, environmentalists are working to prove that protection of the environment can also be a profitable pursuit. By developing the island's ecotourism, scientists hope to stimulate the…
Nation Nov 01Storm-proofing New York is slow going five years since Superstorm Sandy
Superstorm Sandy flooded coastline communities and led to billions of dollars in damage. Five years on, the city of New York has tried to mitigate the impact of a future disaster, from raising houses to building seawalls. But turning ideas…
Science Oct 25Why Cuba is home to a bounty of rare species
Replete with rare and endangered species, Cuba is a crown jewel of biodiversity in the Caribbean. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on the ways scientists and conservationists are working to survey and protect the island’s rich, and sometimes unique, wildlife…
Science Oct 18Witnessing the collision of two neutron stars is a ‘textbook changer.’ Here’s why
Astronomers witnessed for the first time ever a rare collision of two dense neutron stars. The discovery began with an instrument called LIGO, which won this year’s Nobel Prize for its discovery of gravitational waves once predicted by Albert Einstein.
Nation Oct 10Google ‘Top stories’ featured false news about rumored Antifa civil war
We reached out to Google to ask about the misinformation we found for the “Antifa civil war” search in “Top stories,” and they declined to comment. However, by the following day, searches for those same terms did not return any…
Nation Aug 30Fake news reports are hindering the emergency response to Harvey
Bad information shared on social media is causing unnecessary panic among the public and costing first responders valuable time, Officer Haley Morrow of the Beaumont Police told PBS NewsHour’s Miles O’Brien.
Nation Aug 30How Texas police rescued a toddler clinging to her mother’s body in Harvey’s floodwaters
Beaumont Police spokesperson Officer Haley Morrow recounts the rescue, and explains how the flood tragedy is affecting first responders on a personal level.