Nell Greenfieldboyce Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.
Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010
Stories By

Nell Greenfieldboyce

Doby Photography/NPR
Nell Greenfieldboyce 2010
Doby Photography/NPR

Nell Greenfieldboyce

Correspondent, Science Desk

Nell Greenfieldboyce is a NPR science correspondent.

With reporting focused on general science, NASA, and the intersection between technology and society, Greenfieldboyce has been on the science desk's technology beat since she joined NPR in 2005.

In that time Greenfieldboyce has reported on topics including the narwhals in Greenland, the ending of the space shuttle program, and the reasons why independent truckers don't want electronic tracking in their cabs.

Much of Greenfieldboyce's reporting reflects an interest in discovering how applied science and technology connects with people and culture. She has worked on stories spanning issues such as pet cloning, gene therapy, ballistics, and federal regulation of new technology.

Prior to NPR, Greenfieldboyce spent a decade working in print, mostly magazines including U.S. News & World Report and New Scientist.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins, earning her Bachelor's of Arts degree in social sciences and a Master's of Arts degree in science writing, Greenfieldboyce taught science writing for four years at the university. She was honored for her talents with the Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists.

Story Archive

Tuesday

Monday

Saturday

A group of children don eclipse glasses to watch the 2017 solar eclipse at Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images hide caption

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VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A lot of kids got to see the last total eclipse. What they remember may surprise you

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Wednesday

Diamond ring effect as seen from Scottsville, Kentucky during the 2017 total solar eclipse. Philip Yabut/Getty Images hide caption

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Philip Yabut/Getty Images

Monday

These kids saw the last total solar eclipse in the U.S. This is how it changed them

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Tuesday

Questions arise amid the collapse of the Key bridge in Baltimore

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Monday

A woman watches an annular solar eclipse on October 14, 2023 using special solar filter glasses at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Carlos Tischler/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images hide caption

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Carlos Tischler/ Eyepix Group/Future Publishing via Getty Images

Watching a solar eclipse without the right filters can cause eye damage. Here's why

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Thursday

In 2017, people wore special glasses to view a partial eclipse from New York City's 'Top of the Rock' observatory at Rockefeller Center. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Eclipse eye damage is a real risk—here's what eye doctors saw after the 2017 eclipse

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Friday

Eclipse gazers enjoying totality on August 21, 2017, in Isle of Palms, S.C. Eclipse experts say partial eclipses aren't nearly as dramatic. Pete Marovich/Getty Images hide caption

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Pete Marovich/Getty Images

For April's eclipse, going from 'meh' to 'OMG' might mean just driving across town

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Wednesday

This artist's impression shows one of the Voyager spacecraft moving through the darkness of space. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is talking nonsense. Its friends on Earth are worried

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This artist's concept shows the Voyager 1 spacecraft entering the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by plasma, ionized gas (illustrated here as brownish haze). NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it

The Voyager 1 space probe is the farthest human-made object in space. It launched in 1977 with a golden record on board that carried assorted sounds of our home planet: greetings in many different languages, dogs barking, and the sound of two people kissing, to name but a few examples. The idea with this record was that someday, Voyager 1 might be our emissary to alien life – an audible time capsule of Earth's beings. Since its launch, it also managed to complete missions to Jupiter and Saturn. In 2012, it crossed into interstellar space.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it

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Tuesday

This artist concept shows a NASA Voyager spacecraft traveling through the darkness of space. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

The aging Voyager 1 spacecraft has a serious glitch, and NASA is pondering risky fixes

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Tuesday

Scientists have found that artificial light can interfere with many insects' ability to position themselves relative to the sky. Scott Linstead / Science Source hide caption

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Scott Linstead / Science Source

'Like moths to a flame'? Here's what's going on with insects and porch lights

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Monday

A male Greater Honeyguide in Mozambique's Niassa Special Reserve. Claire Spottiswoode hide caption

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Claire Spottiswoode

This wild African bird comes when it's called—and then leads you to honey

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Thursday

Don't look so blue, Neptune: Now astronomers know this planet's true color

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Monday

The largest snow crystal ever photographed, according to scientist Kenneth Libbrecht. It measures 10 mm from tip to tip. Kenneth Libbrecht hide caption

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Kenneth Libbrecht

Winter storm brings snow to the East Coast. But what's in a snowflake?

A winter storm brought heavy rain and snow to parts of the East Coast this weekend, which got us thinking about snowflakes. Those intricate, whimsical crystals are a staple of magical wintry scenes, but how big can they really get? Well, according to the Guinness World Record keepers, the "largest snowflake" ever recorded was a whopping 15 inches in diameter. It was spotted near Missoula, Montana in 1887. But Kenneth Libbrecht, a physicist at Caltech, has long been skeptical of that record. So he set out to find what makes a snowflake a snowflake and whether that 1887 record is scientifically possible. You can read more about what he discovered here.

Winter storm brings snow to the East Coast. But what's in a snowflake?

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Friday

When Voyager 2 flew by Neptune in 1989, it sent back images that were processed to better reveal features like bands and a dark spot. But a new study says it's actually a greener planet. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

Don't look so blue, Neptune: Now astronomers know this planet's true color

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Tuesday

What astronomers are learning from the James Webb Space Telescope

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Monday

This 35.33 mm (1.39 inches) snowflake photographed in Stonybrook, NY in 2015 was the largest captured over multiple winters by researchers using a special camera designed to image falling snowflakes. Sandra Yuter hide caption

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Sandra Yuter

Just how big can a snowflake get? It depends on what you mean by 'snowflake'

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Sunday

NPR staffers share their non-fiction picks from Books We Love

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Thursday

A male Greater Honeyguide in Mozambique's Niassa Special Reserve. Claire Spottiswoode hide caption

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Claire Spottiswoode

Looking for honey? This African bird will heed your call and take you there

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Wednesday

New research finds that a common microbe may be directly causing itchiness on the skin it colonizes. Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images hide caption

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Kinga Krzeminska/Getty Images

What can trigger an itch? Scientists have found a new culprit

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Wednesday

An artistic depiction of the planet WASP-107b. Observations by the James Webb Space Telescope suggest this hot gas giant has clouds made of sand. Klaas Verpoest, Johan Van Looveren, Leen Decin hide caption

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Klaas Verpoest, Johan Van Looveren, Leen Decin

Clouds made of sand make for a strange kind of rain on this hot planet

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