Doby Photography/NPR
Jon Hamilton 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Jon Hamilton

Correspondent, Science Desk

Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather.

Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Hamilton was part of NPR's team of science reporters and editors who went to Japan to cover the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Hamilton contributed several pieces to the Science Desk series "The Human Edge," which looked at what makes people the most versatile and powerful species on Earth. His reporting explained how humans use stories, how the highly evolved human brain is made from primitive parts, and what autism reveals about humans social brains.

In 2009, Hamilton received the Michael E. DeBakey Journalism Award for his piece on the neuroscience behind treating autism.

Before joining NPR in 1998, Hamilton was a media fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation studying health policy issues. He reported on states that have improved their Medicaid programs for the poor by enrolling beneficiaries in private HMOs.

From 1995-1997, Hamilton wrote on health and medical topics as a freelance writer, after having been a medical reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and Physician's Weekly.

Hamilton graduated with honors from Oberlin College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. As a student, he was the editor of the Oberlin Review student newspaper. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, where he graduated with honors During his time at Columbia, Hamilton was awarded the Baker Prize for magazine writing and earned a Sherwood traveling fellowship.

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Story Archive

Cabinet-card portrait of brain-injury survivor Phineas Gage (1823–1860), shown holding the tamping iron that injured him. Wikimedia hide caption

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Wikimedia

Why Brain Scientists Are Still Obsessed With The Curious Case Of Phineas Gage

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An orangutan mother and her 11-month old infant in Borneo. Orangutans breast-feed offspring off and on for up to eight years. Tim Laman/Science Advances hide caption

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Tim Laman/Science Advances

Orangutan Moms Are The Primate Champs Of Breast-Feeding

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A saliva test allowed scientists to accurately predict how long concussion symptoms would last in children. technotr/Getty Images hide caption

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technotr/Getty Images

Spit Test May Reveal The Severity Of A Child's Concussion

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Scientists placed two clusters of cultured forebrain cells side by side (each cluster the size of a head of a pin). Within days, the "minibrains" had fused and particular neurons (in green) migrated from the left side to the right side, as subsets of cells do in a real brain. Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University hide caption

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Courtesy of Pasca lab/Stanford University

'Minibrains' In A Dish Shed A Little Light On Autism And Epilepsy

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Small pulses of electricity to the brain have an effect on memory, new research shows. Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images hide caption

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Science Photo Library/SCIEPRO/Getty Images

Electrical Stimulation To Boost Memory: Maybe It's All In The Timing

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Lisa Zador/Getty Images

A 'Hot Zone' In The Brain May Reveal When, And Even What, We Dream

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Coalition forces fire a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle during a training exercise in Afghanistan's Helmand province in 2013. Spc. Justin Young/U.S. Department of Defense/DVIDS hide caption

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Spc. Justin Young/U.S. Department of Defense/DVIDS

Do U.S. Troops Risk Brain Injury When They Fire Heavy Weapons?

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Bill Kochevar received an implanted brain-recording and muscle-stimulating system that allowed him to move limbs he hadn't been able to move in eight years. Cleveland FES Center hide caption

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Cleveland FES Center

Paralyzed Man Uses Thoughts To Control His Own Arm And Hand

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chuwy/Getty Images

Ketamine For Severe Depression: 'How Do You Not Offer This Drug To People?'

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A colored magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain of a 76-year-old patient with dementia shows the brain has atrophied and the dark brown fluid-filled spaces have become enlarged. Zephyr/Science Source hide caption

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Zephyr/Science Source

Cancer Drug That Might Slow Parkinson's, Alzheimer's Headed For Bigger Tests

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Rocky spent his first few years raised by people, and is particularly attuned to human speech and behavior, researchers say. But his remarkable ability to learn and match human pitch and common sounds of speech surprised them. Mark Kaser/Courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo hide caption

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Mark Kaser/Courtesy of Indianapolis Zoo

Orangutan's Vocal Feats Hint At Deeper Roots of Human Speech

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A child with nodding syndrome waits for treatment at an outreach site in Uganda's Pader district. Matthew Kielty for NPR hide caption

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Matthew Kielty for NPR

Scientists May Have Solved The Mystery Of Nodding Syndrome

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Scientists have genetically engineered mice (but not this cute one) to be resistant to the addictive effects of cocaine. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

A Brain Tweak Lets Mice Abstain From Cocaine

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A self-portrait taken by Cajal in his library when he was in his 30s. Courtesy Instituto Cajal del Consjo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid hide caption

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Courtesy Instituto Cajal del Consjo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid

Art Exhibition Celebrates Drawings By The Founder Of Modern Neuroscience

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An overlay of a high-resolution photograph of the Women's March shows crowd density. Red areas are the highest density, followed by orange and yellow. In all the photo suggests about 440,000 people attended the march. Digital Design & Imaging Service hide caption

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Digital Design & Imaging Service

Politics Aside, Counting Crowds Is Tricky

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