Miles O’Brien Named Recipient of AAAS Kavli Silver Award for Series on Advancements in Upper Limb Prosthetics

Washington, DC (November 10, 2015) — PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O’Brien’s two-part series on advancements in robotic arms technology earned a 2015 AAAS Kavli Silver Award in the television spot news/feature reporting category of the science journalism competition. The awards, announced today by AAAS and given out annually since 1945, will be presented at the 2016 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in February.

In part one – Will a robotic arm ever have the full functionality of a human limb? – O’Brien, himself an upper limb amputee, tested a modular prosthetic limb at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. In part two – Can modern prosthetics actually help reclaim the sense of touch? – he spoke with Dr. Dustin Tyler, a biomedical engineer and a researcher at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland VA hospital, who is hoping to develop prosthetic technology that will give sensory feedback to wearers.

“Most of the time you have to go out looking for a story, but every now and then one lands right in your lap,” O’Brien told AAAS. “And so it went for me after the amputation of my left arm. To say it made me look at prosthetic and robotic technology in a new light would be an understatement. It’s a great honor to be recognized for this work at the intersection of my personal life and my professional interest.”

The Gold Award in the television spot news and feature reporting category went to EarthFix’s Katie Campbell for her piece Is Alaska Safe for Sea Stars?, which aired on PBS NewsHour Weekend on October 26, 2014.

A full list of recipients can be found here.

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