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Greta Johnsen

Greta Johnsen

Weekend Anchor/Reporter

Greta anchors weekends and reports on everything from Pi Day to innovative ways of saving endangered ferrets. She also co-hosts WBEZ’s Nerdette Podcast. Prior to joining WBEZ in 2014. Greta hosted Morning Edition at WCQS in Asheville, North Carolina and at KUAC in Fairbanks, Alaska. Greta has a BA in English from Saint Olaf College and a MS in Journalism from Northwestern University. In her abundant free time, Greta enjoys reading, knitting, and walking her corgi.

Recent Stories


Need A New Read? How About ‘Black Panther With Magic’

The ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ author says she was motivated in part by racist online comments made about ‘The Hunger Games’ films.


I Have A Rare Genetic Disease. CRISPR Might Fix It.

Scientists are working on a gene therapy specifically for WBEZ’s Greta Johnsen. The implications are reminiscent of science fiction.


‘West Wing’ Actress Anna Deavere Smith Takes You To Prison In New HBO Special

Smith says her new HBO special, ‘Notes From The Field,’ aims to illustrate the school-to-prison pipeline that minority students often face.


How To Be Aggressively Delightful

If you’re looking for a way to combat the online trolls fomenting unrest in America, comedian Negin Farsad might have a solution for you.


From ‘Empire’ To ‘The L Word,’ How A Creative Boss Gets It Done

Ilene Chaiken is an executive producer of TV shows that bring minority voices to the mainstream. Here’s how she does it.


When It Snows, Chicago Police Ticket Minority Communities More

South Side neighborhoods get hit with a disproportionate number of winter-related tickets, a WBEZ data analysis finds.


Feminism, Fear, And Physics At The Winter Olympics

Olympians and experts on the science of fear, the physics of sliding down ice super duper fast, and the feminist fight to get women into more sports.


Sex, Drugs, And Singing Ovaries

A noted scientist explains why it’s problematic that many prescription drugs were only tested on men. Plus, ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ for sex ed.


The Ultimate Nerdy Compendium

On 'Nerdette', we’ve asked Tom Hanks, Jenny Slate, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and many more nerds to assign us homework. Here’s ALL of it.


Why Does John Hodgman Like Malört So Much?

The comedian sat down with Nerdette and an official from Jeppson's Malört to talk about the lovingly-reviled Swedish liqueur.


Pulitzer-Winner Jennifer Egan Almost Abandoned Her Latest Novel

‘Manhattan Beach,’ a noir-esque crime novel set in the early 20th century, was in the running for a 2017 National Book Award.


‘Handmaid’s Tale’ Author Says ‘Harvey Weinstein Moment’ Will Last

Author Margaret Atwood spoke candidly with ‘Nerdette’ about the near-daily claims of sexual assault that grab national headlines.


Daveed Diggs Does All The Things

The former ‘Hamilton’ star talks about his new film, ‘Wonder,’ and also his TV show, his rap group, and why he can text Busta Rhymes.


Eve Ewing Says Never Knit A Sweater For Anyone

Want to never see someone again? Ewing says knit them a sweater. The author also talks about Afrofuturism, Prince, and leaving social media.


If Supreme Court Justices Were Muppets, Which Muppets Would They Be?

‘Nerdette’ talks to the reporter who created “Muppet Theory” and she tells us which Muppets are which Supreme Court Justices.


Epic Podcast Crossover: ‘Call Your Girlfriend’ Hangs With ‘Nerdette’

It’s the podcast mashup you didn’t know you needed — but you definitely do!


Jane The Virgin’s Yael Grobglas Meets Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli

Grobglas tells us why she was initially hesitant about playing the villain Petra, and Guarnaschelli shares the best weeknight French dishes.


Star Trek With Brooke Gladstone And Captain Janeway

Strap in because this ‘Nerdette’ is all ‘Star Trek,’ discussing our favorite characters, series and episodes.

WBEZ Updates

Chicagoans React To Athletes Participating In #TakeAKnee Protests

President Donald Trump is criticizing the National Football League for not reprimanding players who protest at games. WBEZ asked people outside Sunday's Bears game what role political protest should have in professional sports.


'Doctor Who' Star Talks About The Women Who Drive A Sci-Fi Franchise

Alex Kingston discusses her role on ‘Doctor Who’ as fan-favorite River Song, which helped pave the way for the show’s first female Doctor.

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