Social Science

Shortly before Denny Henrich turned 50, he ran his first marathon. 

University of Iowa Professor Kembrew McLeod is organizing what he calls a "Million Robot March Against Pink Locker Rooms" in protest of the university's painted pink locker room for visiting football teams.

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.


In last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama said this year he hoped to strengthen and build ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Host Ben Kieffer talks with University of Iowa sociologist Kevin Leicht and John Gallo of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

Angie Harms

Listen back to Talk of Iowa's conversation on middle childhood. Middle childhood is the time between toddler-hood and the teen years. It’s a point in development when kids transition into a concrete way of thinking that's more categorical and less emotionally volatile.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with an anthropologist, pediatrician and counselor about what's going on inside those growing bodies and minds.

'Genius 101'

Dec 30, 2013
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."

Stephen Hampshire

The criminal brain has always held a fascination for neuroscientist James Fallon.  A few years ago, he inadvertently discovered his brain scan perfectly matched a pattern that he’d found in the brains of serial killers. Today on River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Fallon.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee

While support to reduce prison sentences has been growing, Iowa State University sociologist Matt DeLisi recently testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee that for certain offenders this would be a mistake. 

Raising Girls

Oct 10, 2013
Joe Lencioni

From Cinderella to Miley Cyrus our girls grow up in an environment rich in images of femininity.  Host Charity Nebbe gets insight into the challenges and dangers girls face as they grow and how the media influences their development.

martin/ x1klima / Flickr

One day in 1968, the day after the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered, Jane Elliott, a teacher in the small town of Riceville, divided her third-grade class into blue-eyed and brown-eyed groups…and gave them a lesson in discrimination. 


Jul 29, 2013
Emily Woodbury / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Public Radio concludes it's summer series on Iowa's corrections system with a look at recidivism. Host Ben Kieffer learns why offenders in rural areas may be at a disadvantage when they leave prison, and also, what factors influence an offender's likelihood to return to prison? 

Michael Newman / flickr

We've all heard that it's best to limit the amount of screen time our kids get each day, but screens are getting harder an harder to avoid. Today on Talk of Iowa, we talk about educational media. We find out how to make the most of the screen time our kids do get and explore some of the surprising pitfalls we can find along the way.

Center for American Progress / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer talks with UI psychiatrist and professor of medicine Donald Black about his views on proposed changes in mental health policy as a potential remedy for reducing gun violence. Dr. Black is well known for studying various personality disorders. Also psychologist Craig Anderson of ISU tells us about research on the connections between virtual media violence and real life violence.

You Can't Lie To Me

Sep 17, 2012

Research shows one out of every five times a person opens his or her mouth -- out comes a lie. Also, 80 percent of all lies go undetected. Host Ben Kieffer talks with deception detection expert Janine Driver tells us how to sharpen our inner lie detector. Her new book is titled, "You Can't Lie to Me: The Revolutionary Program to Supercharge Your Inner Lie Detector and Get to the Truth."

Media Violence

Sep 6, 2012
FireFish45 / Flickr

Ever wonder if consuming media violence makes someone more likely to act out violence in real life? On River to River, we’ll examine a new report by Iowa State psychology professors Craig Anderson and Douglas Gentile that says violent images such as scenes in movies, games or pictures in comic books, act as triggers for activating aggressive thoughts and feelings already stored in memory. Also, what can parents do about it?

Geral Blanchard spent 35 years working as a counselor. He embraced modern theory and practices. Then, he traveled to Africa. One encounter with a shaman changed his world forever. Host Charity Nebbe talks with Blanchard about that encounter, the journey it began, and his book, Ancient Ways: Indigenous Healing Innovations for the 21st Century.

Of the 273 exonerations granted to convicted criminals since 1989, more than 75-percent can be attributed to mistaken eyewitness identification. That's according to the Innocence Project. Today on "River to River", we talk with ISU Psychology professor Gary Wells, who says he's developed a procedure to substantially reduce mistaken identifications in photo lineups.