Rebecca Ramirez Rebecca Ramirez is the founding producer of NPR's daily science podcast, Short Wave.
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Rebecca Ramirez

Rebecca Ramirez

Associate Producer, Short Wave

Rebecca Ramirez (she/her) is the founding producer of NPR's daily science podcast, Short Wave. It's a meditation in how to be a Swiss Army Knife, in that it involves a little of everything — background research, finding and booking sources, interviewing guests, writing, cutting the tape, editing, scoring ... you get the idea.

Ramirez's journey to radio producer was a happy accident. At the University of Southern California, she pursued a double major in history and neuroscience. It was fun and engaging, but with no obvious career path. She answered an ad for an internship while playing an NPR podcast, and got hired! After graduation, she began an internship for Invisibilia, NPR's podcast about the unseeable forces that control human behavior. From there, she dove head-first into a completely different job - producing daily news on Morning Edition, NPR's daily morning news magazine. After a year, she jumped at the chance to help start a new NPR podcast. Aside from the joy of the hard work, Ramirez is involved in increasing NPR's diversity, both in its journalism through source diversity efforts and on staff as a leader of the Marginialized Genders and Intersex People of Color (MGIPOC) Mentorship Program.

Ramirez hails from Florida and lives in Washington, D.C.

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Deja Perkins is an urban ecologist, bird watcher, and an organizer of Black Birders Week. Deja Perkins hide caption

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Deja Perkins

#BlackBirdersWeek 2021: Celebrating The Joy Of Birds

#BlackBirdersWeek emerged last year from a groundswell of support for Christian Cooper, a Black man and avid birder, who was harassed by a white woman while birding in Central Park. This year is all about celebrating Black joy. Co-organizer Deja Perkins talks about how the week went and why it's important to observe nature wherever you live.

#BlackBirdersWeek 2021: Celebrating The Joy Of Birds

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The Disordered Cosmos

Maddie talks with physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein about her new book, The Disordered Cosmos: A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred. In the episode, we talk quarks (one of the building blocks of the universe), intersectionality and access to the night sky as a fundamental right.

The Disordered Cosmos

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A meadow reflects in a raindrop hanging from a blade of grass in Dresden, Germany. Robert Michael/dpa/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Robert Michael/dpa/AFP via Getty Images

The Science Behind That Fresh Rain Scent

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President Biden aims to have 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one shot by July 4. About a dozen states have reached that goal, but vaccination rates in some other states remain low. Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images hide caption

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Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images

COVID News Round-Up: Vaccination Progress, Booster Shots, Travel

Nationwide, almost 65% of adults have had at least one vaccine shot, but vaccination rates vary significantly depending on the state. NPR health correspondent Allison Aubrey gives us the latest on the country's vaccination progress: which states are on track (and which are not), new research about why it's important teenagers get vaccinated, and what we know about the possibility of booster shots.

COVID News Round-Up: Vaccination Progress, Booster Shots, Travel

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Population geneticist Dr. Janina Jeff is the host and executive producer of "In Those Genes," a hip-hop inspired podcast that uses genetics to uncover the those lost identifies of African descended Americans through the lens of Black culture. Jas Thomas/Janina Jeff hide caption

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Jas Thomas/Janina Jeff

Scientific Sankofa And The Complexities Of Genetic Ancestry

Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong speaks with Janina Jeff, the host and executive producer of In Those Genes, a "science and culture podcast that uses genetics to decode the lost histories of African descendants." They discuss what a person's genetic ancestry test does and does not reveal, and the complicated intersection of genetics, history and race.

Scientific Sankofa And The Complexities Of Genetic Ancestry

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Scientists believe some heavy elements like iron are forged when a massive star explodes as a supernova. Plutonium's exact origins remain a mystery, but scientists think it was made by more than an ordinary supernova. Here, Cassiopeia A, a supernova remnant, was captured in a NASA image. NASA/JPL-Caltech hide caption

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NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Curious Stardust At The Ocean Floor

Researchers report in the journal Science that they appear to have some clues about the origin of Earth's plutonium - which has been long debated. Correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce explains that traces of rare forms of iron and plutonium have been found in extraterrestrial debris that had sunk to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, hauled up by an oil company, then donated for research. By comparing the iron and the plutonium, scientists found the plutonium was likely forged in a cosmic cataclysm, perhaps a rare kind of supernova, and then rained down on Earth.

The Curious Stardust At The Ocean Floor

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Shortly after schools in the U.S. began closing due to the pandemic, Dr. Christian-Brathwaite started seeing an increase in calls for psychiatric evaluations and support. Ridvan Celik/Getty Images hide caption

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Ridvan Celik/Getty Images

In The Pandemic, Children Face A Mental Health Crisis

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the proportion of emergency department visits by children in mental health crises went up significantly during the pandemic — about 30% for kids ages 12-17 and 24% for children ages 5-11 between March and October of last year, compared to 2019. For psychiatrists like Dr. Nicole Christian-Brathwaite, this is evident in her practice and personal life. We talk to her about how this past year has taken a toll on children and their mental health, as well as her advice for helping the kids in your life cope better.

In The Pandemic, Children Face A Mental Health Crisis

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Newly deposited dirt sits on top of a levee at the Eden Landing Ecological Reserve that protects the eastern edge of San Francisco Bay. Lauren Sommer/NPR hide caption

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Lauren Sommer/NPR

SCOOP: There's A Dirt Shortage

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Fragile X syndrome involves changes in the X chromosome, as pictured in the four columns of chromosomes starting on the left. The fifth column, on the far right, shows two normal X chromosomes. RICHARD J. GREEN/ScienceSource hide caption

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RICHARD J. GREEN/ScienceSource

Nurses tend to a COVID-19 patient in an intensive care unit. The pandemic may have a long-term effect on U.S. health care workers, with about 6 in 10 reporting burnout, according to a recent poll. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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John Moore/Getty Images

Burnout: The Crisis Plaguing Health Care Workers

Today, NPR's mental health correspondent Rhitu Chatterjee guests hosts Short Wave. She talks to Dr. Arghavan Salles about burnout among health care workers — what it looks like, what it's doing to the mental health of doctors and nurses and how institutions can address it.

Burnout: The Crisis Plaguing Health Care Workers

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Some of Vick Krishna's recent videos explaining different aspects of the coronavirus vaccines have gone viral. The first was an explainer of the mRNA vaccines. hotvickkrishna TikTok/Screenshot by NPR hide caption

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hotvickkrishna TikTok/Screenshot by NPR

The Viral TikTok Explaining mRNA Vaccines With ... Forks!

We at Short Wave are sometimes a little too aware of how difficult it can be to explain science to a general audience. So when we came across Vick Krishna's viral TikTok breaking down how the mRNA vaccine works, we were impressed and immediately like, "We've got to get him on the show!" Today's that show. Vick breaks down the inspiration, the science and his newfound responsibility as an accidental science communicator.

The Viral TikTok Explaining mRNA Vaccines With ... Forks!

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This picture shows vials of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine. Ramon Van Flymen/ANP/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Ramon Van Flymen/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Vaccination Rate Continues To Slow

Short Wave's Emily Kwong talks with NPR health correspondent Allison Aubrey about some of the latest coronavirus news, including the return of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. and vaccine outreach in harder to reach communities.

The U.S. Vaccination Rate Continues To Slow

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People walk by a sign for both a Covid-19 testing clinic and a Covid vaccination location outside of a Brooklyn hospital. As of Monday, everyone 16-years-old or older is eligible in all 50 U.S. states to receive a coronavirus vaccine. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Half Of U.S. Adults Have Gotten A Vaccine — But Hurdles Remain For Herd Immunity

Today, NPR Health Correspondent Allison Aubrey offers perspective on how to think about the latest coronavirus news. On one hand, half of U.S. adults have been vaccinated and as of this week, everyone 16 years old and up is eligible to be vaccinated. At the same time, the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been paused and many are still hesitant to get vaccinated.

Half Of U.S. Adults Have Gotten A Vaccine — But Hurdles Remain For Herd Immunity

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Ranthony Edmonds is a post-doctoral researcher at Ohio State University, where she researches pure mathematics. In addition to her research, Edmonds focuses on service and math outreach both in and out of the classroom. Joshua Kendall Edmonds/JKE Photography hide caption

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Joshua Kendall Edmonds/JKE Photography

Cars sit on the edge of a sinkhole in the Charles Village neighborhood of Baltimore, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, as heavy rain moves through the region. Roads closed due to flooding, downed trees and electrical lines elsewhere in the Mid-Atlantic. AP hide caption

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AP

Why Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

(Encore episode.) Earlier this year, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case brought by the city of Baltimore against more than a dozen major oil and gas companies including BP, ExxonMobil and Shell. In the lawsuit, BP P.L.C. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, the city government argued that the fossil fuel giants must help pay for the costs of climate change because they knew that their products cause potentially catastrophic global warming. NPR climate reporter Rebecca Hersher has been following the case.

Why Baltimore Is Suing Big Oil Over Climate Change

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