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 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…
Science Jul 17What Apollo 11 pilot Michael Collins feared most during critical NASA mission
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, which first landed American astronauts on the moon's surface. Of the intrepid crew, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have tended to dominate public attention, but it was pilot Michael…
Science Jul 10Does marijuana hurt or help your brain? Scientists rush to study the drug’s impact
As national attitudes and laws around cannabis use have evolved, so have the commercially grown strains of the plant. Some marijuana varieties today contain levels of THC, the drug’s psychoactive compound, as high as 50 percent, compared to around 5…
Science Jun 12Why ‘deepfake’ videos are becoming more difficult to detect
Sophisticated and inaccurate altered videos known as “deepfakes” are causing alarm in the digital realm. The highly realistic manipulated videos are the subject of a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. As Miles O’Brien reports, the accelerating speed of computers…
Science May 15Artists harness the power of fire and ice to shape attitudes on climate change
There's no shortage of powerful images and video when it comes to natural disasters like wildfires and melting glaciers. But a pair of artists are now using those images in new ways, as part of their mission to warn people…
Science May 08How scientists are trying to predict wildfire movement
It’s been six months since the most deadly and destructive wildfire in California history, the Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and burned 19,000 structures in November 2018. But even at the peak of the inferno, some scientists moved toward…
Science May 01How NASA is preparing to launch another mission to the moon
The Trump administration wants NASA to get back to the moon by 2024, using any means necessary. But will the money and the commitment be there to support the effort? Science correspondent Miles O’Brien talks to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine…
Science Mar 27As planet warms, scientists explore ‘far out’ ways to reduce atmospheric CO2
The U.S. government estimates that the consequences of climate change are already costing the country hundreds of billions of dollars. But even if we stopped using fossil fuels immediately, the globe would continue to warm due to an existing buildup…
Nation Mar 24Social Networks In The Headlines
Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports on Facebook’s battle against misinformation that began after the 2016 presidential election.