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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News
4:24 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Missing Jet May Be Thought Lost At Sea, But The Search Carries On

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 6:46 pm

The Malaysian prime minister announced that the missing airliner was likely lost in the Indian Ocean. NPR's Geoff Brumfiel discusses how this was determined and where the search will go from here.

Parallels
10:28 am
Sat March 22, 2014

Russia-U.S. Tensions Could Stall Syrian Chemical Weapons Removal

The Russian ship Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great), seen here docked in the Cypriot port of Limassol in February, is part of the team involved in escorting shipments of Syria's chemical weapons material for destruction.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 22, 2014 11:18 am

As U.S.-Russian relations sour, some observers fear the plan to eliminate Syria's chemical arsenal might stall.

This past week, the removal of chemicals from Syria reached the halfway mark. Without pressure from both superpowers, however, some believe Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will begin to drag his feet.

"I think what you're likely to see is that the Assad regime will comply just enough, at a slower pace, as it consolidates its hold over the country militarily," says Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert, at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

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Science
5:06 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Einstein's Lost Theory Discovered ... And It's Wrong

It's OK, kids. Even Albert Einstein sometimes made math mistakes.
Harris & Ewing Library of Congress

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 11:19 am

Earlier this week, physicists announced they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time from just moments after the Big Bang. Such ripples were predicted almost a century ago by Albert Einstein.

Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong.

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Space
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Ripples In Space Could Point To The Universe's Beginnings

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:24 am

Physicists say they've discovered a faint signal from just moments after the universe began. If confirmed, it could revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos. But not everyone is convinced.

News
4:30 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Out Of Antarctica, A 'Grand Slam' That Leads Back To The Big Bang

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

Physicists using data from an Antarctica telescope say they've observed evidence of primordial gravity waves — in other words, echoes of the Big Bang. If real, this may be a big advance for physics.

National Security
11:41 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Ex-Missile Crew Members Say Cheating Is Part Of The Culture

Former missile officer Edward Warren says he and others felt enormous pressure to cheat.
Courtesy of Edward Warren

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:10 pm

Edward Warren was shocked when he learned that the airmen in charge of the nation's nuclear-tipped missiles regularly cheated on tests.

In 2009, Warren was fresh out of the Air Force's Reserve Officers' Training Corps. He had just finished training to become a missile launch officer when he was pulled aside.

"One of my instructors said, 'Hey, just so you know, there is cheating that goes on at the missile bases,' " Warren recalls. "I was repulsed. I thought, 'This can't be, this is terrible.' "

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The Two-Way
5:41 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Despite Diplomatic Tensions, U.S.-Russia Space Ties Persist

Russian personnel are the first to meet space station crew members when they return to earth.
Bill Ingalls NASA

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 7:40 am

Update 1:15 a.m. EDT Tuesday:

A Russian Soyuz capsule carrying a U.S.-Russian crew has landed safely in Kazakhstan, according to NASA. American Mike Hopkins and Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy had spent 166 days in space. Russian space officials had considered delaying the landing because of heavy snowfall and strong winds but decided to go ahead with the original plan.

Original Post:

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Space
4:02 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Earthbound Tensions Don't Reach Russian-American Space Partnership

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 5:20 pm

U.S. astronaut Mike Hopkins is expected to land in Kazakhstan, and despite diplomatic tensions the Russians plan to pick him up. It's another sign that U.S. and Russia remain tied at the hip in space.

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