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 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…
Science May 16Inside Facebook’s race to separate news from junk
At Facebook, there are two competing goals: keep the platform free and open to a broad spectrum of ideas and opinions, while reducing the spread of misinformation. The company says it's not in the business of making editorial judgments, so…
Science May 09Why we love to like junk news that reaffirms our beliefs
Facebook is exquisitely designed to feed our addiction to hyper-partisan content. In this world, fringe players who are apt to be more strident end up at the top of our news feeds, burying the middle ground. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien…
Science May 02Junk News: Watch our series
A deep-dive into the continuing problem of false or misleading news.
Science May 02Online anger is gold to this junk-news pioneer
Meet one of the Internet's most prolific distributors of hyper-partisan fare. From California, Cyrus Massoumi caters to both liberals and conservatives, serving up political grist through various Facebook pages. Science correspondent Miles O'Brien profiles a leading purveyor of junk news…
Science Apr 25How Facebook’s news feed can be fooled into spreading misinformation
Facebook’s news feed algorithm learns in great detail what we like, and then strives to give us more of the same -- and it's that technology that can be taken advantage of to spread junk news like a virus. Science…
Nation Apr 19How Southwest pilot Tammie Jo Shults stayed calm in the cockpit
Twenty minutes after takeoff, Southwest Flight 1380 had to make an emergency landing. One of the engines had exploded, sending metal fragments into cabin and shattering a window, killing passenger Jennifer Riordan. Pilot Tammie Jo Shults, a former navy pilot,…
Science Apr 11How Facebook does business
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg finished his visit to Capitol Hill with another long hearing Wednesday. After two days, do we have a better understanding of how the social media giant gathers data? Science correspondent Miles O'Brien joins Amna…