Regina G. Barber Regina G. Barber is a co-host of Short Wave.
Regina Barber, photographed for NPR, 6 June 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Farrah Skeiky for NPR.
Stories By

Regina G. Barber

Farrah Skeiky/NPR
Regina Barber, photographed for NPR, 6 June 2022, in Washington DC. Photo by Farrah Skeiky for NPR.
Farrah Skeiky/NPR

Regina G. Barber

Host, Short Wave

Regina G. Barber is a co-host of Short Wave, NPR's science podcast.

Barber completed her PhD in physics at Washington State University with a focus in astrophysics, studying globular cluster systems. Before working at NPR, she taught physics and astronomy at Western Washington University where she was also WWU's first STEM Inclusion and Outreach Specialist. In this role, Barber organized programs to recruit and retain underrepresented faculty and students in STEM fields. During that time, she hosted and was the Executive Producer of the podcast Spark Science, featuring interviews with STEM professionals. For seven seasons, she mentored a student production team in science communication and storytelling.

Barber spent her academic career combining racial and gender equity, science and pop culture into one career. In 2019, she won WWU's Womxn of Color Empowerment Faculty Award. She is also an alumna of the SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science) Leadership Institute and a former Jackson Wild Media Lab Fellow.

Coming from academia, she loves the fast-paced, team-focused environment at Short Wave. She also loves TV, cartoons, robots and fandoms.

Story Archive

Thursday

Connie Hanzhang Jin

COMIC: Our sun was born with thousands of other stars. Where did they all go?

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Tuesday

Jean Grey and Cyclops in the new Disne series X-Men '97. Marvel Animation/Disney hide caption

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Marvel Animation/Disney

Friday

Following a new EPA rule, public water systems will have five years to address instances where there is too much PFAS in tap water – three years to sample their systems and establish the existing levels of PFAS, and an additional two years to install water treatment technologies if their levels are too high. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Thursday

Our Sun probably has a bunch of siblings

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Sunday

Yu Darvish #11 of the San Diego Padres throws a pitch during the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Petco Park on April 2, 2024 in San Diego, California. Brandon Sloter/Getty Images hide caption

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Brandon Sloter/Getty Images

How climate change and physics affect baseball, America's favorite pastime

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Friday

Earth may seem like a one-of-a-kind planet, but it actually has a twin

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The black-capped chickadee, seen here, is well known for its strong episodic memory. Dmitriy Aronov hide caption

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Dmitriy Aronov

The "barcodes" powering these tiny songbirds' memories may also help human memory

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Thursday

This week in science: Clever chickadees, smiling robots and haiku's most popular bugs

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Wednesday

Diamond ring effect as seen from Scottsville, Kentucky during the 2017 total solar eclipse. Philip Yabut/Getty Images hide caption

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Philip Yabut/Getty Images

Monday

Science writer David Baron witnesses his first total solar eclipse in Aruba, 1998. He says seeing one is "like you've left the solar system and are looking back from some other world." Paul Myers hide caption

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Paul Myers

The physical sensations of watching a total solar eclipse

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Monday

NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Loral O'Hara is pictured working with the Microgravity Science Glovebox, a contained environment crew members use to handle hazardous materials for various research investigations in space. NASA hide caption

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NASA

What's it like to live in space? One astronaut says it changes her dreams

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Monday

Shohini Ghose is the author of the 2023 book Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women Scientists Decoded the Hidden Universe. Throughout the book, Ghose highlights the stories of women who have transformed physics and astronomy. Courtesy of MIT Press hide caption

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Courtesy of MIT Press

This Women's History Month, how physics connects two Bengali women born decades apart

When Shohini Ghose was studying physics as a kid, she heard certain names repeated over and over. "Einstein, Newton, Schrodinger ... they're all men." Shohini wanted to change that — so she decided to write a book about some of the women scientists missing from her grade school physics textbooks. It's called Her Space, Her Time: How Trailblazing Women Scientists Decoded the Hidden Universe. This episode, she talks to Short Wave host Regina G. Barber about uncovering the women physicists she admires — and how their stories have led her to reflect on her own.

This Women's History Month, how physics connects two Bengali women born decades apart

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Friday

The National Ignition Facility used lasers to generate net energy from a pellet of fusion fuel in 2022. But the experiment is still a long way from truly producing more electricity than it requires. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory hide caption

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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Are we on the brink of a nuclear fusion breakthrough?

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Wednesday

Millions of people are affected by long COVID, a disease that encompasses a range of symptoms — everything from brain fog to chronic fatigue — and that manifests differently across patients. The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption

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The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Shifu voiced by Dustin Hoffman and Po voiced by Jack Black return in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 4. DreamWorks Animation hide caption

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DreamWorks Animation

Monday

On July 16, 1945, scientists detonated "Gadget," the world's first atomic bomb. White Sands Missile Range Photo hide caption

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White Sands Missile Range Photo

'Oppenheimer' is winning awards. Here's the science behind the atomic bomb

Coming down from the buzz of the Oscars, we're taking a look at Christopher Nolan's award-winning film 'Oppenheimer.' It chronicles the life and legacy of J. Robert Oppenheimer, the first director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and the so-called "Father of the Atomic Bomb." The movie does not shy away from science — and neither do we. We talked to current scientists at Los Alamos about the past and present science of nuclear weapons like the atomic bomb.

'Oppenheimer' is winning awards. Here's the science behind the atomic bomb

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Friday

Elephantnose Fish, Gnathonemus petersii, Congo ullstein bild hide caption

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ullstein bild

The "shocking" tactic electric fish use to collectively sense the world

Neuroscientist Nathan Sawtell has spent a lot of time studying the electric elephantnose fish. These fish send and decipher weak electric signals, which Sawtell hopes will eventually help neuroscientists better understand how the brain filters sensory information about the outside world. As Sawtell has studied these electric critters, he's had a lingering question: why do they always seem to organize themselves in a particular orientation. At first, he couldn't figure out why, but a new study released this week in Nature may have an answer: the fish are creating an electrical network larger than any field a single fish can muster alone, and providing collective knowledge about potential dangers in the surrounding water.

The "shocking" tactic electric fish use to collectively sense the world

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Thursday

This week in science: shared rhythm, electric fish and a methane-tracking satellite

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Wednesday

This artist's concept shows the Voyager 1 spacecraft entering the space between stars. Interstellar space is dominated by plasma, ionized gas (illustrated here as brownish haze). NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it

The Voyager 1 space probe is the farthest human-made object in space. It launched in 1977 with a golden record on board that carried assorted sounds of our home planet: greetings in many different languages, dogs barking, and the sound of two people kissing, to name but a few examples. The idea with this record was that someday, Voyager 1 might be our emissary to alien life – an audible time capsule of Earth's beings. Since its launch, it also managed to complete missions to Jupiter and Saturn. In 2012, it crossed into interstellar space.

The Voyager 1 spacecraft has a big glitch. Now, NASA must figure out how to fix it

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Friday

A scene from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' action adventure "DUNE: PART TWO," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

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Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Wednesday

A farmer works at an avocado plantation at the Los Cerritos avocado group ranch in Ciudad Guzman, state of Jalisco, Mexico. Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Ulises Ruiz/AFP via Getty Images

This data scientist has a plan for how to feed the world sustainably

According to the United Nations, about ten percent of the world is undernourished. It's a daunting statistic — unless your name is Hannah Ritchie. She's the data scientist behind the new book Not the End of the World: How We Can Be the First Generation to Build a Sustainable Planet. It's a seriously big thought experiment: How do we feed everyone on Earth sustainably? And because it's just as much an economically pressing question as it is a scientific one, Darian Woods of The Indicator from Planet Money joins us. With Hannah's help, Darian unpacks how to meet the needs of billions of people without destroying the planet.

This data scientist has a plan for how to feed the world sustainably

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Monday

Blastocyst illustration. A blastocyst is a hollow ball of cells with a fluid centre formed after several divisions of a fertilised cell (zygote). The inner cell mass (purple) contains the cells that will form the embryo proper, the embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images hide caption

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Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

In light of the Alabama court ruling, a look at the science of IVF

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Friday

A skywalker gibbon is seen at the Gaoligong Mountain in China. The skywalker gibbon, a typical arboreal animal, is one of the national key protected wild animals, mainly found in Gaoligong Mountain. Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima hide caption

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Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency via Getty Ima

Didn't get a Valentine's love song? These skywalker gibbons sing love duets

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Thursday

Short Wave on singing gibbons, tai chi's health benefits, and gender disparity with exercise results

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