761 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 hosts Emily Kwong and Aaron Scott for science on a different wavelength.

If you're hooked, try Short Wave Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/shortwave

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    • Science
    • 4.7 • 5.4K 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 hosts Emily Kwong and Aaron Scott for science on a different wavelength.

If you're hooked, try Short Wave Plus. Your subscription supports the show and unlocks a sponsor-free feed. Learn more at plus.npr.org/shortwave

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Why Disaster Relief Underserves Those Who Need It Most

    Why Disaster Relief Underserves Those Who Need It Most

    When a disaster like Hurricane Ian destroys a house, the clock starts ticking. It gets harder for sick people to take their medications, medical devices may stop working without electricity, excessive temperatures, mold, or other factors may threaten someone's health. Every day without stable shelter puts people in danger.

    The federal government is supposed to help prevent that cascade of problems, but an NPR investigation finds that the people who need help the most are often less likely to get it. Today we encore a conversation between NPR climate reporter Rebecca Hersher and Short Wave guest host Rhitu Chatterjee.

    • 13 min
    Predicting Landslides: After Disaster, Alaska Town Turns To Science

    Predicting Landslides: After Disaster, Alaska Town Turns To Science

    On August 18, 2015, in Sitka, Alaska, a slope above a subdivision of homes under construction gave way. This landslide demolished a building and killed three people. Today on the show, host Emily Kwong recounts the story of the Kramer Avenue landslide and talks about how scientists and residents implemented an early warning system for landslides to prevent a future disaster.

    • 14 min
    Sustainable Seafood? It's A Question Of Data

    Sustainable Seafood? It's A Question Of Data

    Host Aaron Scott talks to marine biologist Alfredo Giron about sustainable fishing and how managing the ocean is a lot about managing people.

    • 14 min
    Why The Bladder Is Number One!

    Why The Bladder Is Number One!

    Why are bladders so stretchy? Why do some people get recurrent urinary tract infections? And why is the bladder #1? Bladder expert Dr. Indira Mysorekar fills us in.

    • 12 min
    Grasslands: The Unsung Carbon Hero

    Grasslands: The Unsung Carbon Hero

    What's in a grassland? There are all sorts of wildflowers, many insects, animals like prairie dogs, bison and antelope — and beneath the surface, there's a lot of carbon. According to some estimates, up to a third of the carbon stored on land is found in grasslands. But grasslands are disappearing — just like forests. Today, journalist Julia Rosen shares her reporting on the hidden majesty and importance of the grasslands.

    To learn more, including what colonialism has to do with disappearing grasslands, check out Julia's article in The Atlantic, "Trees Are Overrated".

    • 13 min
    One Park. 24 Hours.

    One Park. 24 Hours.

    A day in the life of one city park, documenting the nature and the humanity in this urban oasis.

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
5.4K Ratings

5.4K Ratings

Bennyboyboomer ,

Wow

So entertaining and educational. The hosts are a bit enthusiastic at times, but the pros overweigh the not-even-cons. I don’t even care about ads. They need to make money anyway, right?

watch4rx ,

Science Snippets

Love the format of this show. The variety of topics piques listeners’ curiosity and brings scientists to life. I use science podcasts in my college classes & students often say they now see scientists as “real people”. Thanks for bringing these topics to the airwaves. Regina Barber’s interviews have been especially good.

NigelHorne ,

Too focussed on Biology

Interesting enough, but rarely covers physics and almost never covers chemistry or geology.

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