513 episodes

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

Short Wave NPR

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 5.2K Ratings

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    An ode to the Pacific lamprey

    An ode to the Pacific lamprey

    Pacific lamprey may have lived on Earth for about 450 million years. When humans came along, a deep relationship formed between Pacific lamprey and Native American tribes across the western United States. But in the last few decades, tribal elders noticed that pacific lamprey populations have plummeted, due in part to habitat loss and dams built along the Columbia River. So today, an introduction to Pacific lamprey: its unique biology, cultural legacy in the Pacific Northwest and the people who are fighting to save it.

    To learn more about tribal-led efforts to restore the lamprey, read the Tribal Pacific Lamprey Restoration Plan and watch the documentary The Lost Fish.

    • 15 min
    A biodiesel boom (and conundrum)

    A biodiesel boom (and conundrum)

    There's a biodiesel boom happening, but some people aren't happy about it.

    • 12 min
    COVID-19 boosters are here

    COVID-19 boosters are here

    COVID-19 vaccine boosters are here, so we're talking eligibility, how vaccines are holding up and why some experts are skeptical they're necessary.

    • 11 min
    How do we make sense of the sounds around us?

    How do we make sense of the sounds around us?

    How do our brains create meaning from the sounds around us? That is the question at the heart of a new book from neuroscientist Nina Kraus, called Of Sound Mind.

    • 9 min
    The Mighty Mangrove

    The Mighty Mangrove

    Along some coastlines near the equator, you can find a tree with superpowers: the mighty mangrove. Ecologist Alex Moore explains how these stunning trees help fight climate change

    • 12 min
    The mystery of the mummified Twinkie

    The mystery of the mummified Twinkie

    A box of Twinkies, left alone for eight years, held some surprises for Colin Purrington. Upon having a sugar craving, combined with being "just so bored, with the pandemic," Purrington opened the box a few weeks ago. Like many people, Purrington believed Twinkies are basically immortal, although the official shelf life is 45 days. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce talked to Purrington and explains how two scientists got involved and started unraveling the mystery of the mummified Twinkie. (Encore episode)

    • 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
5.2K Ratings

5.2K Ratings

pgrabin1 ,

Quick, educational, and entertaining!

I’ve listened to a few episodes and really like them.

The old moldy Twinkie episode was interesting!

This was gross but cool! Someone tried to eat a really old moldy Twinkie- eww! I liked how the scientists studied them and tried to ID the actual type of fungi, etc.

I will still eat a Twinkie but I’ll have to forget I heard this podcast 😂

widely_distributed ,

500 episodes of the best science conversations

no better science podcast for all ages. best hosts and guests in the world.

HBOT!! ,

I.Love.Shortwave!!😆

Shortwave is one of my favorite podcasts, I especially love the Why we see Rainbows 🏳️‍🌈 and the cooking with science episodes! Thank you so much for your hard work and great episodes everyday! We miss you Maddie!

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