science

River to River: From the Archives
1:30 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

The Teenage Brain

chandrika221 / flickr

Listen to the show - River to River

The drama of mood swings, impulsiveness and bizarre behaviors during adolescence
can take a toll on both teens and their parents.

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Culture
1:48 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Money, Canoes or Oral Hygiene: Finding the Key to Happiness

What makes us truly happy?
See-ming Lee Wikimedia Commons

According to research by the Gallup organization, North Dakotans are happier than Iowans. Or rather, they have a higher state of well-being.

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River to River
3:47 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Richard Dawkins

Apes or hominoids are all descendants of a common ancestor.
en.wikipedia.org

Acclaimed evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins returns to Iowa this Saturday.  Dawkins will speak at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines at a ticketed event put on by SecularityUSA, which advocates for secularism in American government.

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News Buzz
4:08 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

'As Night Falls,' it's Time for David Skorton

An African bull elephant at the National Museum of Natural History. That's part of the Smithsonian which will be led by former Iowan David Skorton
Smithsonian Institution

David Skorton used to open his Iowa Public Radio jazz show like this, "As night falls over the river city and all of eastern Iowa, it's time for jazz."

Skorton is the former president of the University of Iowa, and has served as president of Cornell University, and he will become the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute next year.  You might remember his radio jazz show “As Night Falls” which he co-hosted with the late Frank Conroy.  Hear about Skorton's  expectations of his upcoming job:

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River to River
2:15 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Murky Waters and Pi Day

Though Iowa’s rivers and streams may look particularly scummy or murky, the DNR says the state’s waterways are perfectly fine. The murky appearance is caused by organic matter and is safe.
Ben Kieffer Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

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Talk of Iowa
3:19 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Brilliance of Winged Rats

One of the 32 rock doves used in Wasserman's research at the University of Iowa's Comparative Cognition Laboratory.
Sarah Boden Iowa Public Radio

Many Iowans find the common pigeon, or rock dove, a pest and call them "winged rats." However, this bird's brain is deceptively clever.

Ed Wasserman runs the Comparative Cognition Laboratory at the University of Iowa. Wasserman is world renowned for his work in animal intelligence, including proving that pigeons recognize individual human faces.

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River to River
3:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

The Teenaged Brain

chandrika221 / flickr

The drama of mood swings, impulsiveness and bizarre behaviors during adolescence
can take a toll on both teens and their parents. Neuropsychiatrist and bestselling author Dr. Daniel Siegel says that there is a lot of misinformation about this developmental period.

“There are common myths that we all hear about…that are actually not only wrong, they’re misleading and in some ways they’re disempowering.  So by learning the truths you can actually understand things as they actually are and then do something about them.”

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Talk of Iowa
11:58 am
Mon December 30, 2013

'Genius 101'

Albert Einstein
ebravolosada / flickr

Dennis Reese guest hosts this talk with Dean Simonton, a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California-Davis.  Simonton was recently visiting the University of Iowa, and he describes his research as the "cognitive, dispositional, developmental, and socio-cultural factors behind eminence, giftedness, and talent."

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Environment
11:30 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Air Quality Concerns from Frack Sand to be Studied by UI Team

A sand pile at the Pattison Sand Company mine in eastern Iowa's Clayton County. It's the only site in Iowa actively mining for sand to be used in hydraulic fracturing.
Credit Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Researchers at the University of Iowa have received a $125,000 federal grant to study the effects of frack sand mining on air quality.

The rise in hydraulic fracturing in the US and Canada has created demand for silica sand, used in the fracking process. There’s currently just one major frack sand mine in Iowa’s Clayton County. But parts of northeast Iowa are rich in these sand deposits.

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River to River
2:51 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Science Literacy in Iowa

Des Moines Middle School Science Fair in February 2012.
Phil Roeder Flickr

Does drinking coffee prevent dementia? Will diet soda give you cancer?  Science and health reporting is often misleading and confusing.

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River to River
1:18 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

Bio-Medical Engineer is listed as #2 best job of 2013.
dbelskysuny / flickr

For 25 years, CareerCast.com has ranked the best and worst jobs.   Their rating is based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. Host Ben Kieffer talks with a few people that are on the best and worst lists.  Find out what people in those jobs think about their ranking.  It includes a Biomedical Engineer, an Oil Rig Worker, an Audiologist, and a Newspaper Reporter.   

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River to River
3:46 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Politics Day: The Genetics of Politics

wikimedia.org

Political arguments can easily become heated and emotional.  But what if your political rival has a genetic predisposition to view the world differently than you?  On River to River, can politics be explained through biology?  We hear two perspectives in that academic debate.  We also talk with the chairs of the Iowa GOP and the Iowa Democrats about how they came to their beliefs.

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Science/Technology
7:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

"Sue the T-Rex" Comes to Iowa

IPR's Sarah McCammon stands in front of Sue the T-Rex. The dinosaur measures 12 feet tall at the hip. The replica will be on display beginning Feb. 2 at the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines.
John Pemble IPR

A replica of a rare, 67,000,000-year-old dinosaur fossil is in Iowa for a little while. “Sue" the T-Rex was discovered in South Dakota in 1990.

The Science Center of Iowa is hosting a traveling exhibit about the dinosaur Feb. 2 to May 12. Workers have been busy this week setting up the replica of the towering fossil.

That’s where IPR's Sarah McCammon caught up with the Science Center’s exhibit director, Allison Shwanebeck, and Michael Paha of the Field Museum in Chicago.

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River to River
1:13 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

The Recruitment of Teaching & Science Education

Employees of the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and U.S. Army Research Laboratory discuss science experiments for children and parents at Youth’s Benefit Elementary School
Research Development and Engineering Command / Flickr

Earlier this year, the director of the Iowa Department of Education unveiled 13 recommendations from the state’s Task Force on Teacher Leadership and Compensation. The goal - to improve education in part through getting better teachers. This hour we talk with several people about how to improve education in the state, including Linda Fandel, a special assistant for education to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. We’ll also hear from two faculty members at Iowa State’s School of Education about their national recognition for preparing science teachers.

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Agriculture/Harvest Public Media
7:27 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Could the 'Farmer of the Future' Be...A Robot?

Brent Ware, a member of the robotics team at Kansas State, stands next to a planting robot that won a national competition.
Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media

There’s always work to be done on the farm, but often it’s the same work day, after day, after day. Parts of the job must feel a bit like an assembly line.

While it’s impossible to automate farming like many manufacturers have automated their assembly lines, using robotic technology on the farm might not be so far off.

The biological and agricultural engineering robotics team at Kansas State University knows a thing or two about agricultural robots. They’ve won national robotics competitions in each of the last five years.

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Arts & Culture
7:36 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Got Government Data? There's an App for That

You might have heard about the Drake Relays this weekend. Turns out there was another kind of relay going on - a race to make phone and computer applications - using government data.

The event was called the Open Iowa Code-a-thon. It involved around 50 people, 52 sets of data, and approximately 54 hours to get it done. Government agencies made information available, so coders could capture open-source data to turn into useful applications.

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Talk of Iowa
11:00 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

Improving Science Literacy in Iowa

Rapid advances in science and technology have created a need for bright young scientists in the U.S., scientists who often come from other countries. On today's Talk of Iowa, we'll find out about efforts to ignite a passion for science in Iowa’s kids. Charity speaks with Dr. Charles Miller about his efforts to start the Iowa Space Science Center and Brent Studer, who teaches astronomy at Kirkwood Community College.