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.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

A giant kauri tree grows in Waipoua Forest in Northland, New Zealand. Trees like this one that fell long ago and were preserved for thousands of years are helping researchers discern fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic poles. Kim Westerskov/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Kim Westerskov/Getty Images

Ancient Trees Show When The Earth's Magnetic Field Last Flipped Out

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/969063568/969886158" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lots of manufacturers offer a rainbow of ink colors. People can even go online and order a bottle. The Food and Drug Administration has not regulated the pigments in tattoo inks so far, but agency officials will investigate and recall tattoo inks if they hear of a specific safety concern, like bacterial contamination that could lead to infections. Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

What's In Tattoo Ink? Why Scientists Want To Know

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/965549858/969559264" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

An artist's rendition of the conch of Marsoulas being played in a cave where it was found by researchers in the early 20th Century. G. Tosello hide caption

toggle caption
G. Tosello

Why A Musician Breathed New Life Into A 17,000-Year-Old Conch Shell Horn

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/966322717/966501018" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Coloured ink bottles are seen in a box at a tattoo parlour in Berlin on June 12, 2020. - The European Commission is proposing a ban on harmful chemicals in tattoo ink, including two widely-used blue and green pigments, claiming they are often of low purity and can contain hazardous substances. John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

Naked mole rats are very communicative creatures, they quietly chirp, squeak, twitter or even grunt to one another. The scientists wanted to find out whether these vocalizations have a social function for the animals – and found that each colony has its own dialect that promotes social cohesion. Felix Petermann, MDC hide caption

toggle caption
Felix Petermann, MDC

Friend Or Foe? Naked Mole Rats Can Tell By A Unique Squeak

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/960497406/961722539" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Sun glancing off the surface of the blue glacial ice exposed at the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area, Antarctica. Ice cores containing trapped air from 2+ million years ago were discovered here in 2015-2016. The blue ice is exposed at the surface through a combination of glacial flow and ablation from the winds that blow year-round in the area. December 2015. John Higgins hide caption

toggle caption
John Higgins

The Hunt For The World's Oldest Ice

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/953903853/954034396" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Pandemic Advances Scientific Understanding Of Viruses' Air Transmission

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/950886165/950886169" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Out Of This World: 2020's Amazing Achievements In Space

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/950724164/950724165" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A SpaceX Falcon9 rocket, with the Crew Dragon capsule attached, lifts off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39-A. Chris O'Meara/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Chris O'Meara/AP

2020: At Least It Was Good For Space Exploration?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/949242340/949650165" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Inside of the Blue Ice Drill tent, drillers Tanner Kuhl (left) and Elizabeth Morton (right) work with graduate students Austin Carter, Jacob Morgan and postdoctoral fellow Sarah Shackleton in Antarctica in 2019. John Higgins hide caption

toggle caption
John Higgins

Scientists Have Found Some Truly Ancient Ice, But Now They Want Ice That's Even Older

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/949159524/950360706" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A macaques monkey looking into the mirror of a motorbike in the grounds of a temple in Jaipur in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Dominique Faget/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Dominique Faget/AFP via Getty Images

Star Of 'Contact' And 'GoldenEye,' Arecibo Telescope Collapses In Puerto Rico

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/940802119/940802120" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The African crested rat is the only mammal known to sequester lethal plant toxins. Stephanie Higgins hide caption

toggle caption
Stephanie Higgins

For Rats That Coat Themselves In Poison, These Rodents Are Surprisingly Cuddly

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/938878618/939532367" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Martin Ruegner/Getty Images