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

"We have only begun to scratch the surface of the complex problems inherent in figuring out ... the brain's inner workings," said Paul Allen in 2012. Kum Kulish/Corbis/Getty Images hide caption

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A 291-day-old retina. Our ability to see colors develops in the womb. Now scientists have replicated that process, which could help accelerate efforts to cure colorblindness and lead to new treatments for diseases. Johns Hopkins University hide caption

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Johns Hopkins University

Human Retinas Grown In A Dish Reveal Origin Of Color Vision

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If you like sudoku, go ahead and play. But staying sharp means using many parts of your brain. Yasuyoshi Chiba/Getty Images hide caption

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A Brain Scientist Who Studies Alzheimer's Explains How She Stays Mentally Fit

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The fix was in for this rhesus macaque drinking juice on the Ganges River in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India. No gambling was required to get the reward. Fotofeeling/Getty Images/Westend61 RM hide caption

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In Lab Turned Casino, Gambling Monkeys Help Scientists Find Risk-Taking Brain Area

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A government research project to assess the safety of BPA is beginning to show results. T-pool/STOCK4B/Getty Images hide caption

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Government Study Of BPA Backs Its Safety, But Doesn't Settle Debate

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Scientists at Johns Hopkins University are studying barn owls to understand how the brain maintains focus. Meredith Rizzo/NPR hide caption

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Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Scientists Study Barn Owls To Understand Why People With ADHD Struggle To Focus

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These PET scans show the normal distribution of opioid receptors in the human brain. A new study suggests ketamine may activate these receptors, raising concern it could be addictive. Philippe Psaila/Science Source hide caption

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Philippe Psaila/Science Source

An image of a rosehip neuron (top) and a connecting pyramidal cell (bottom). Tamas Lab/University of Szeged hide caption

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Tamas Lab/University of Szeged

What Makes A Human Brain Unique? A Newly Discovered Neuron May Be A Clue

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Heavy weapons like this shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapon deliver a powerful blast to the shooter's head. D. Gonzalez/1st Marine Division hide caption

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D. Gonzalez/1st Marine Division

Heavy Weapons Training May Cause Brain Injuries, But The VA Doesn't Cover It

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Sarah Gonzales for NPR

Marines Who Fired Rocket Launchers Now Worry About Their Brains

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Having more than one child is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's, research finds, as is starting menstruation earlier in life than average and menopause later. Ronnie Kaufman/Blend Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Hormone Levels Likely Influence A Woman's Risk Of Alzheimer's, But How?

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When the heart pushes too hard, as it does when blood pressure is elevated, it can cause damage that can lead to a stroke, says Dr. Walter Koroshetz. John Rensten/Getty Images hide caption

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Worried About Dementia? You Might Want to Check Your Blood Pressure

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Alan Dambach developed tremors that caused his hands to shake uncontrollably. His condition made it difficult to work on his family's tree farm in Fombell, Pa. Ross Mantle for NPR hide caption

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Ross Mantle for NPR

How Highly Focused Sound Waves Steadied A Farmer's Trembling Hand

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Several circular herpes virus particles are seen near a cell membrane. Roseola herpes virus causes a childhood illness marked by skin rashes and now has been found in brains with Alzheimer's disease. NCI/Science Source hide caption

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Researchers Find Herpes Viruses In Brains Marked By Alzheimer's Disease

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What Might Be Behind The Mystery Health Problems U.S. Diplomats Are Experiencing

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