Emily Kwong Emily Kwong is the reporter for NPR's daily science podcast, Short Wave.
Emily Kwong
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Emily Kwong

Wanyu Zhang/NPR
Emily Kwong
Wanyu Zhang/NPR

Emily Kwong

Reporter, Science Desk

Emily Kwong (she/her) is the reporter for NPR's daily science podcast, Short Wave. The podcast explores new discoveries, everyday mysteries and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, Monday through Friday.

Prior to working at NPR, Kwong was a reporter and host at KCAW-Sitka, a community radio station in Sitka, Alaska. She covered local government and politics, culture and general assignments, chasing stories onto fishing boats and up volcanoes. Her work earned multiple awards from the Alaska Press Club and Alaska Broadcasters Association. Prior to that, Kwong produced youth media with WNYC's Radio Rookies and The Modern Story in Hyderabad, India.

Kwong won the "Best New Artist" award in 2013 from the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition for a story about a Maine journalist learning to speak with an electrolarynx. She was the 2018 "Above the Fray" Fellow, reporting a series for NPR on climate change and internal migration in Mongolia.

Kwong earned her bachelor's degree at Columbia University in 2012. She learned the finer points of cutting tape at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2013.

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Story Archive

The magnets used in these letters are one of the more obvious uses of magnets, but magnets are also found in many other household objects. Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images

Magnets: The Hidden Objects Powering Your Life

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For a scientific experiment, a person sits in front of a computer, and an EEG measures the electrical signals released by neurons in their brain. Getty Images hide caption

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Micro Wave: I'll Peanut Jam Your Brain

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Facial recognition researcher Joy Buolamwini stands for a portrait behind a mask she had to use so that software could detect her face. Buolamwini's research has uncovered racial and gender bias in facial analysis tools sold by companies such as Amazon that have a hard time recognizing certain faces, especially darker-skinned women. Steven Senne/AP hide caption

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Steven Senne/AP

Why Tech Companies Are Limiting Police Use of Facial Recognition

In June 2020, Amazon, Microsoft and IBM announced that they were limiting some uses of their facial recognition technology. In this encore episode, Maddie and Emily talk to AI policy analyst Mutale Nkonde about algorithmic bias — how facial recognition software can discriminate and reflect the biases of society and the current debate about policing has brought up the issue about how law enforcement should use this technology.

Why Tech Companies Are Limiting Police Use of Facial Recognition

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Until Henrietta Lacks' cells came along, whenever human cells were put in a lab dish, they would die immediately or reproduce only a few times. HeLa cells, by contrast, grew indefinitely. National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research via AP hide caption

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National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research via AP

Happy Valentine's day from the scorpions at NPR Short Wave! Richard Newstead/Getty Images hide caption

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Richard Newstead/Getty Images

Birds! Chocolate! Scorpions! Happy Valentine's Day!

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A 1930 tidal chart from the village of Bowling on the Firth of Clyde Andrew Matthews hide caption

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Andrew Matthews

Environmental activist Francia Márquez takes part in a march in August 2020 in Colombia, demanding justice for the murder of five Afro-Colombian teenagers. Márquez herself has faced violent threats and attempts on her life. Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Luis Robayo/AFP via Getty Images

Electrical circuit with lemons. A chemical reaction between the copper and zinc plates and the citric acid produces a small current, that is able to power a light bulb. Science Photo Libra/Getty Images hide caption

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Science Photo Libra/Getty Images

In this April 7, 1966 photo, grape strikers on a 300-mile march from Delano, Calif., approach their goal, the Capitol in Sacramento. Walter Zeboski/AP hide caption

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Walter Zeboski/AP

Daniel Gorham, a research engineer with the Insurance Institute for Building and Home Safety, looks for clues about how homes can survive wildfires. Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety hide caption

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Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety

The Complex Decisions Around Rebuilding After A Wildfire

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A beautiful spider spins a web in a forest outside Moscow. Disclosure: this particular spider was not the inspiration for any smack talk heard in this episode. Yuri Kadobnov/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Yuri Kadobnov/AFP via Getty Images

FACT SMACK: Spider Edition

With the help of spider scientist Sebastian Echeverri, Maddie presents the case for why spiders are the best and coolest animal. Spoiler alert: some travel thousands of kilometers by "ballooning," while others live part time underwater.

FACT SMACK: Spider Edition

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A bonobo family munches on leaves at Lola la Bonobo sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ley Uwera for NPR hide caption

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Ley Uwera for NPR

How Bonobos Help Explain The Evolution Of Nice

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Neurobiologist André White says the ability to balance and know where you are in space is among the senses. Justin Case/Getty Images hide caption

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Justin Case/Getty Images

Stuttering often appears in childhood and for some, it stays with them all their lives. 1% of the world's adults stutter. Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop hide caption

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Malte Mueller/Getty Images/fStop
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