Greg Miller

Independent science journalist

I am a science and technology journalist based in Portland, Oregon. Previously I was a senior writer at WIRED and a staff writer at Science. I write about neuroscience and other areas of biological, behavioral, and social science. I'm especially interested in stories about how emerging science and technology are challenging our social, ethical, and legal conventions.

I also love maps, and I co-author the cartography blog All Over the Map at National Geographic.

In 2013, I was part of a team of writers who received the magazine journalism award from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine for a special issue of Science devoted to research on human conflict. My piece examined how unmanned drones are changing the psychology of warfare. As a Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism, I traveled to Sri Lanka, India, and China in 2005 to report a series of articles for Science on the challenges of treating mental illness in developing countries. In 2012 I visited Aceh, Indonesia to report on a novel community mental health program in development there.

Before becoming a journalist, I earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Stanford University and completed the graduate science writing program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. You can find out more about me by downloading my CV above, or contacting me at gmiller585 [at] gmail.com.

Portfolio

Favorites

A Tactile Atlas Helps the Blind 'See' Maps
Some maps are meant to be felt, not seen. The photograph above shows a page from an atlas commissioned by a Swiss psychologist for a friend who loves geography and maps but is...
Could pot help solve the U.S. opioid epidemic?
In the mid-19th century, some European doctors became fascinated with a plant-derived drug recently imported from India. Cannabis had been used as medicine for millennia in...
The Many Ways to Map the Brain
Brain mapping has come a long way since the days of Korbinian Brodmann. The German neurologist was cutting edge for the early 1900s, using newly invented chemical stains that...
Inside the Secret World of Russia's Cold War Mapmakers
A military helicopter was on the ground when Russell Guy arrived at the helipad near Tallinn, Estonia, with a briefcase filled with $250,000 in cash. The place made him...
The 19th Century Doctor Who Mapped His Hallucinations
Hubert Airy first became aware of his affliction in the fall of 1854, when he noticed a small blind spot interfering with his ability to read. "At first it looked just like the...
The Strange New World of DIY Brain Stimulation
When Brent Williams got to RadioShack that day in the spring of 2012, he knew exactly what he was looking for: a variable resistor, a current regulator, a circuit board, and a...
Drone Wars
Are remotely piloted aircraft changing the nature of war? This article won a share of the 2013 magazine journalism award from the National Academies.
Who Needs Psychiatrists?
A follow-up to my 2004-05 Carter Center fellowship, this article looks at an innovative community mental health program in Aceh, Indonesia.
How Our Brains Make Memories
This feature story about the malleability of memory won the Michael E. DeBakey national print journalism award in 2011.
How Movies Manipulate Your Brain to Keep You Entertained
The first in an online series about what cognitive scientists are learning about why we love cinema--and what directors intuitively know about how our brains process what we see.
A Gruesome War Crime Renews Concerns About a Malaria Drug's Psychiatric Side Effects
Early the morning of March 11, 2012, Army staff sergeant Robert Bales left his remote outpost in an impoverished region of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan and killed 16 people in...
These Funky Microbes Make Your Favorite Foods More Delicious
In this gallery several scientists helped us explore the biology of some of the microbes that make our food and drink more delicious. Isn't it time you got to know them a little...

Science and technology

Pioneering study images activity in fetal brains
Babies born prematurely are prone to problems later in life-they're more likely to develop autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and more likely to struggle in...
A New Test of Pot's Potential to Replace Painkillers
After two years of bureaucratic hurdles, the first study to directly compare cannabis with an opioid drug is about to begin.
Why Won't Americans Let Bygones Be Bygones Online?
The country has long prided itself as a land of reinvention, but not if it means abandoning the right to know what the neighbors are up to.
Roots of the Urban Mind
A provocative new idea suggests that the stress of living with strangers spawned innovations in architecture and culture--and helped create cities as we now know them
The Growing Influence of Neuroscience in the Courtroom
A new study found that the number of judicial opinions referencing neuroscience as evidence more than doubled between 2005 and 2012. Please consider disabling it for our site,...
Brain scans are prone to false positives, study says
A new study suggests that common settings used in software for analyzing brain scans may lead to false positive results. (Image: National Institute of Mental Health)
Scientists Can't Read Your Mind With Brain Scans (Yet)
As a journalist who writes about neuroscience, I've gotten a lot of super enthusiastic press releases touting a new breakthrough in using brain scans to read people's minds....
The Moral Hazards and Legal Conundrums of Our Robot-Filled Future
Whether you find it exhilarating or terrifying (or both), progress in robotics and related fields like AI is raising new ethical quandaries and challenging legal codes that were...
A Wildly Ambitious Quest to Build a Mind-Controlled Exoskeleton
Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis went on the Daily Show in 2011 and told Jon Stewart that he would develop a robotic body suit that would allow paralyzed people to walk again...
Biologists Create Cells With 6 DNA Letters, Instead of Just 4 | WIRED
One of the first things you learn in Biology 101 is that the genetic code consists of four letters: A, T, C, and G. Each represents a chemical building block of DNA, the...
An Unexpected Discovery in the Brains of Autistic Children
Nobody knows what causes autism, a condition that varies so widely in severity that some people on the spectrum achieve enviable fame and success while others require lifelong...
Why the Plan to Dig a Canal Across Nicaragua Could Be a Very Bad Idea
By the end of this year, digging could begin on a waterway that would stretch roughly 180 miles across Nicaragua to unite the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Giant container ships...

Maps

He Collected 12,000 Road Maps-Now We're Discovering Their Secrets
Robert Berlo got hooked on maps at an early age. As a kid growing up in San Francisco he'd pore over roadmaps in the backseat of the car on family vacations. Sometime around age...
How Mapmakers Make Mountains Rise Off the Page
Here are a few of the ways cartographers have created the illusion of depth on maps through the centuries.
Secret Japanese Military Maps Could Open a New Window on Asia's Past
These maps were captured in the waning days of World War II as the U.S. Army took control of Japan. American soldiers confiscated thousands of secret Japanese military maps and...

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