Short Wave


New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes. It's science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join hosts Emily Kwong, Aaron Scott and Regina Barber for science on a different wavelength.

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Our Editor's Take

Science doesn't have to be boring or take forever to explain. That's the concept behind NPR's Short Wave podcast. As per the word "short" in the title, this show needs around 10 minutes to talk about a different science story. And it also picks interesting topics that ordinary people may find fascinating.

Emily Kwong and Aaron Scott cohost the Short Wave podcast. Both have backgrounds in science journalism and human interest stories. These skills help them make the topics on this show compelling.

Past Short Wave topics have included explaining why people cry and where the tears come from. Guest Mamadou Ndiaye wrote the book 100 Animals That Can F*cking End You. He quizzes the hosts about which animals people need to be afraid of. Spoiler alert: even though it is an herbivore, the Cape buffalo has a nickname as "the widowmaker" from killing hunters.

Other show topics include psychedelics and what they do. The hosts also talk to experts about where butterflies in one's stomach come from. Do humans need eight glasses a day of water or not? Short Wave answers the question. Dr. Sandra Murray explains how human cells talk to each other. The "science of soil" is also a show topic.

Short Wave sometimes interviews guests with science-related backgrounds in non-science careers. Julia Ruth studied physics and put that to work in her current career as a circus artist and acrobat.

The show finds out where the bodies go for those who have ever considered donating their body to science. Short Wave also answers environmental questions. It tells listeners which seafood items are sustainable. It also points out that most plastic items are not recycled. And it explains why the dew point number matters when it comes to determining humidity.

Science fans and those curious to learn new things may enjoy the Short Wave podcast. It drops new episodes most weekdays.

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