Christopher Joyce

Christopher Joyce is a correspondent on the science desk at NPR. His stories can be heard on all of NPR's news programs, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.

Joyce seeks out stories in some of the world's most inaccessible places. He has reported from remote villages in the Amazon and Central American rainforests, Tibetan outposts in the mountains of western China, and the bottom of an abandoned copper mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Over the course of his career, Joyce has written stories about volcanoes, hurricanes, human evolution, tagging giant blue-fin tuna, climate change, wars in Kosovo and Iraq and the artificial insemination of an African elephant.

For several years, Joyce was an editor and correspondent for NPR's Radio Expeditions, a documentary program on natural history and disappearing cultures produced in collaboration with the National Geographic Society that was heard frequently on Morning Edition.

Joyce came to NPR in 1993 as a part-time editor while finishing a book about tropical rainforests and, as he says, "I just fell in love with radio." For two years, Joyce worked on NPR's national desk and was responsible for NPR's Western coverage. But his interest in science and technology soon launched him into parallel work on NPR's science desk.

In addition, Joyce has written two non-fiction books on scientific topics for the popular market: Witnesses from the Grave: The Stories Bones Tell (with co-author Eric Stover); and Earthly Goods: Medicine-Hunting in the Rainforest.

Before coming to NPR, Joyce worked for ten years as the U.S. correspondent and editor for the British weekly magazine New Scientist.

Joyce's stories on forensic investigations into the massacres in Kosovo and Bosnia were part of NPR's war coverage that won a 1999 Overseas Press Club award. He was part of the Radio Expeditions reporting and editing team that won the 2001 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University journalism award and the 2001 Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Joyce won the 2001 American Association for the Advancement of Science excellence in journalism award.



Mon May 16, 2011

Nuclear Nations Turn To Natural Gas And Renewables

Engineers probing the ruined nuclear reactors at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are finding yet more damage. Not only did fuel melt in three reactors, they've just discovered a hole in one reactor vessel. And radioactive water continues to leak at the site. That mess in Fukushima has led several governments to reassess nuclear power.

Japan was planning 14 new reactors. Germany, famously anti-nuclear, had approved several new plants. Utilities in the U.S. had plans for new reactors as well.


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Mon April 25, 2011

Challenges Loom Large, 25 Years After Chernobyl

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:57 am

A technician checks a spot with a Geiger counter in a forest that burned in 1992. The wildfire released radioactive particles into the air that were deposited there during the 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl. Experts worry nearby forest, which is becoming overgrown, could again be ripe for a blaze.
Patrick Landmann Getty Images

The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant 25 years ago not only changed the lives of people in Ukraine; it also put a radioactive stain on the continent. And it showed just how far-reaching the ramifications of a serious nuclear accident could be.

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Wed April 20, 2011
The BP Oil Spill, One Year Later

'Quagmire Of Bureaucracy' Stifles Gulf Spill Research

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:58 am

Phil Radford, executive director of Greenpeace USA, inspects oil-covered reeds while visiting the disaster site on May 20, 2010 south of Venice, Louisiana. A year after the spill, BP has yet to distribute $450 million dollars to scientists studying the disaster.
John Moore Getty Images

Although images of dead birds and blackened marshes in the Gulf of Mexico are gone, many scientists say it's too early to declare a recovery. They suspect there could be hidden damage to the Gulf's marine life and marshes. And some of these scientists say research on the effects of the spill has been delayed or kept secret.

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Thu April 14, 2011

Dinosaur Eyes Yield Clues To Hunting Habits

Velociraptors, those clever carnivores that hunted in packs in the Jurassic Park films, may actually have been night hunters.

That's the conclusion of scientists who have studied the bones of dinosaurs, reptiles and early flying creatures that lived tens of millions of years ago. In particular, they examined the eye sockets, which the scientists say reveal a great deal about what kind of vision those extinct animals had.

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Tue April 5, 2011

Japan Accident Renews Focus On Spent Fuel In U.S.

The nuclear accident in Japan has rekindled debate about what to do with used reactor fuel.

The Japanese power plant housed tons of highly radioactive used fuel in pools filled with water. Some of that water either leaked out or boiled away during the accident, putting that fuel at risk of burning and releasing radioactive material. With similar fuel pools at more than 60 reactor sites in the U.S., there's renewed interest in their safety.

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