Geoff Brumfiel

Science editor Geoff Brumfiel oversees coverage of everything from butterflies to black holes across NPR News programs and on NPR.org.

Prior to becoming the editor for fundamental research news in April of 2016, Brumfiel worked for three years as a reporter covering physics and space. Brumfiel has carried his microphone into ghost villages created by the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan. He's tracked the journey of highly enriched uranium as it was shipped out of Poland. For a story on how animals drink, he crouched for over an hour and tried to convince his neighbor's cat to lap a bowl of milk.

Before NPR, Brumfiel was based in London as a senior reporter for Nature Magazine from 2007-2013. There he covered energy, space, climate, and the physical sciences. In addition to reporting, he was a member of the award-winning Nature podcast team. From 2002 – 2007, Brumfiel was Nature Magazine's Washington Correspondent, reporting on Congress, the Bush administration, NASA, and the National Science Foundation, as well as the Departments of Energy and Defense.

He began his journalism career working on the American Physical Society's "Focus" website, which is now part of Physics.

Brumfiel is the 2013 winner of the Association of British Science Writers award for news reporting on the Fukushima nuclear accident.

He graduated from Grinnell College with a BA double degree in physics and English, and earned his Masters in science writing from Johns Hopkins University.

Scientists announced Wednesday that they have once again detected ripples in space and time from two black holes colliding far away in the universe. The discovery comes just months after the first-ever detection of such "gravitational waves," and it suggests that smaller-sized black holes might be more numerous than many had thought. "It looks like there are going to be more of these black holes out there than we imagined," says David Reitze , the executive director of the Laser...

House and Senate negotiators have agreed on a plan to update a 40-year-old law regulating the safety of chemicals. The bipartisan legislation would update the Toxic Substances Control Act , which became law in 1976. The original act gave the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to require testing and reporting of potentially harmful chemicals. But as NPR's Jon Hamilton reports, the law didn't apply to most chemicals already on the market: "It assumed that thousands of untested...

A team of scientists has developed "robot flies" about the size of a quarter that can perch on almost any surface. The flies were developed at Harvard's Microrobotics Laboratory , where researchers look to Mother Nature for design inspiration. For years, they have been working on fly-sized drones that could be deployed in groups. The drones could, in theory, be outfitted with cameras and provide multiple vantage points of a disaster, or link up to make an improvised communications network....

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The National Institutes of Health is overhauling the leadership of its world-renowned Clinical Center, after an independent task force found the center was putting research ahead of patient safety. As NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce has reported , the Clinical Center in Bethesda, Md., is the largest research hospital in the world. Patients come from across the country seeking its experimental therapies. But a recent independent review found safety problems at two laboratories, including one run by...

Scientists have had a literal breakthrough off the coast of Mexico. After weeks of drilling from an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico, they have reached rocks left over from the day the Earth was hit by a killer asteroid . The cataclysm is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs. "This was probably the most important event in the last 100 million years," says Joanna Morgan , a geophysicist at Imperial College in London and a leader of the expedition. Since the 1980s, researchers have...

A small mammal has sabotaged the world's most powerful scientific instrument. The Large Hadron Collider , a 17-mile superconducting machine designed to smash protons together at close to the speed of light, went offline overnight. Engineers investigating the mishap found the charred remains of a furry creature near a gnawed-through power cable. "We had electrical problems, and we are pretty sure this was caused by a small animal," says Arnaud Marsollier, head of press for CERN , the...

On Tuesday, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and Russian billionaire Yuri Milner announced a plan to send interstellar probes to the Alpha Centauri star system. The audacious project would use a giant laser on Earth to accelerate scores of postage-stamp-size spacecraft to nearly the speed of light. They would cross the void in just 20 years — virtually no time on the scale of interstellar travel. The plan for " Breakthrough Starshot " laid out at the news conference looks both ambitious...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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