Geoff Brumfiel

Science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel's reports on physics, space, and all things nuclear can be heard across NPR News programs and on NPR.org.

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. He became a full-time correspondent in March of 2013.

Prior to NPR, Geoff 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.

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6:05am

Tue December 2, 2014
The Two-Way

NASA Prepares To Test New Spacecraft (That You've Likely Never Heard Of)

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 3:43 pm

The Orion capsule is poised to make its first test flight Thursday. If all goes as planned, the unmanned vehicle will orbit Earth twice before splashing into the Pacific Ocean.
Kim Shiflett NASA

NASA is about to launch a new spaceship into orbit, and Mallory Loe has never heard of it.

"I mean, technically, NASA doesn't have another spaceship, do they?" she asks incredulously during a visit to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

She's hardly the only one who doesn't know about this new spacecraft. In fact, none of a half-dozen tourists NPR interviewed in the museum's lobby was aware of the Orion spaceship.

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2:46pm

Mon November 17, 2014
The Two-Way

Comet Lander's Big Bounce Caught On Camera

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 7:41 pm

The Rosetta spacecraft, which orbits the comet, captured this series of images of the Philae lander bounding off the surface. The precise spot the lander came to a stop remains unknown.
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Updated at 3:45PM ET

It was the first ever landing on a comet, and it was perfect.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the end of the journey for the European Space Agency's unmanned Philae lander. After touching down on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the lander bounced off the surface and flew a kilometer back up into space.

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4:28pm

Fri November 14, 2014
National Security

Pentagon Plans To Spend Billions Upgrading Nuclear Program

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:34 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

4:30pm

Thu November 13, 2014
Space

After Bouncy Landing, Philae Lander At Rest On Comet

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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4:42pm

Wed November 12, 2014
Space

Successful Comet Landing A Major Step For Space Exploration

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:04 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

3:26pm

Tue November 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Comet's Rugged Landscape Makes Landing A Roll Of The Dice

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:48 pm

Newly released images taken from just 6 miles above the comet show high plateaus sticking up from its boulder-strewn surface.
ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

The European Space Agency is about to try to put a probe where none has gone before: on the surface of a comet.

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3:30am

Tue November 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Researchers To Attempt Robotic Landing On Comet's Surface

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 10:12 am

Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is about to send a lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
ESA/Rosetta/NavCam

Humans have never landed anything on a comet's surface. That may change tomorrow.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission is poised to send out a small probe to land on a comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta spent 10 years chasing the comet before arriving in August.

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1:48pm

Fri November 7, 2014
The Two-Way

Even After SpaceShipTwo Crash, Many Space Tourists Hold On To Tickets

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 2:56 pm

The unique folding tail section of the Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo may have been a factor in the crash.
Virgin Galactic

The dream of hundreds of space tourists was dealt a blow last Friday when Virgin Galactic's experimental SpaceShipTwo broke up over California's Mojave Desert. The pilot was injured and the co-pilot died in the accident.

But many are still holding on to their tickets.

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6:19am

Fri November 7, 2014
Space

Test Flight Crash Fails To Deter Space Tourists

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 4:27 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up now on the crash of an experimental spaceship. Last week's crash came in California during a test flight. It was a big setback for hundreds of hopeful space tourists. But many are still holding onto their tickets. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports.

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3:34pm

Thu November 6, 2014
Shots - Health News

How Boy Bits First Came To Be

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 12:13 pm

A python embryo turns its leg cells into a pair of penises. Researchers now believe that signals from the embryonic gut trigger the development of the penis in many different species.
Patrick Tschopp/Harvard Medical School/Department of Genetics

Evolution has shaped every part of the body, and that includes our private parts. New research published this week sheds light on how the penis evolved and how it forms in different animals.

The research might also one day help illuminate a medical mystery: Birth defects of the penis have risen sharply in recent decades, and nobody is sure why.

Penises weren't necessary when our early ancestors lived in the ocean. A female could lay eggs, and a male could just swim by and excrete some sperm. It would all mix and fertilize in the water.

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