The Social Science Podcast Guide

Social Science Podcasts

This compilation of podcast series covers a host of topics and focus on specific subjects that pertain to the social and behavioral sciences. Between the housing crisis in California, indigenous culture and storytelling, to interrogating the backdrop and historical narrative that founds western societies today, these podcasts freely explore the ins and outs of our everyday and interrelated human interactions, experiences and events. As such, we have divided the podcasts into categories, separating those about the social sciences from those that are influenced by social science subjects.

These podcasts reflect the views and approaches of their various creators, and thus do not necessarily reflect those of Social Science Space or its sponsor.

If you are interested in including your podcast on our list, please email Stephanie Tom.

Podcasts about the Social Sciences

Social Science Bites | Social Science Space

Pride of place to Social Science Space’s very own monthly podcast series, hosted by the BBC’s David Edmonds. The social world is a world we create, that we all have in common. In this series of illuminating podcasts, hear leading social scientists present their perspectives on how our social world is created, and how social science can help us understand people and how they behave.

SAGE Sociology | SAGE Publishing

The official podcast of SAGE for Sociology.

SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books, and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets with principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, and Singapore.

LSE IQ Podcast | The London School of Economics and Political Science 

A monthly podcast from the London School of Economics and Political Science. This is the podcast where we ask some of the leading social scientists – and other experts – to answer intelligent questions about economics, politics or society.

The Conversation Weekly | The Conversation

Each week we talk to academic experts around the world to help unpick the context behind the headlines – and hear from scholars carrying out brand new research about how the world works. A podcast from The Conversation.

*Meet the Education Researcher | Neil Selwyn

Emerging issues and the latest ideas from across the world of education research. Hear from a range of academics about their current research work in schools, universities and beyond. Hosted by Neil Selwyn from Monash University, Australia.

Marginally Significant | Andrew Smith, Twila Wingrove, Andrew Monroe and Chris Holden

Marginally Significant is a podcast discussing life in academia, issues with scientific research, and current events. Join the hosts, who are all psychologists  trained at research-focused institutions but now teach at a comprehensive university. Their unique experiences and shifting roles within their university allow them to see academic life from a particular perspective—a perspective that, although shared by many researchers, teachers, and academics, is often not represented by academics from elite universities. Listen to Marginally Significant to hear their opinions and insights, let them know when you agree or disagree, and contribute to the diversity of perspectives about scientific research and teaching in higher education.

SciComm Stories | Amanda Mathieson

A digital breakroom for science communicators. 

Hidden Brain | Shankar Vedantam

Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, and the biases that shape our choices. Our audience takes uncommon pleasure in the world of ideas. How do children come to love spicy foods? Why do religions exist? What’s the best way to get people to be honest on their taxes? Hidden Brain explores questions like these that lie at the very heart of a complex and changing society.

Hosted by NPR social science correspondent Shankar VedantamHidden Brain links research from psychology and neurobiology with findings from economics, anthropology, and sociology, among other fields. 

The Sociology Show | Matthew Wilkin

The Sociology Show, hosted by Matthew Wilkin, who lectures at Bellerbys College in Brighton, conducts interviews with a range of different people within the world of sociology

Oh, The Humanities! (And Social Sciences) | Marco Cimino

This podcast is dedicated to the teaching and learning of humanities and social sciences(or HASS) in all stages of school – with some general education thrown in \as well! 

The Psychology Podcast With Scott Barry Kaufman

The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman explores the depths of human potential. Each episode sees a talk with inspiring and thought-provoking guests who will stimulate your mind, and give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. 

The Human Show | Corina Enache, Andrea Rozenbaum and Maria Siaulyte

The Human Show is  a place to talk about industry, scholarship, social science, humans — and what is meaningful to them!

The Positive Psychology Podcast | Kristen Truempy

The science of the good life, huh? Sorry this is not about booze, sex and rock n’roll (or whatever is en vogue right now). In fact we talk about a lot of things that tree huggers would love: appreciation of beauty, gratitude, positive emotions, relationships and well, love. However we, that is positive psychologists and positive psychology practitioners buried ourselves in books, set out to experiment and then write it all up in a writing style that is about as exciting to read as watching an avocado turn brown. And that’s the problem: if you are not an academic you probably want a little bit more excitement, than pages and pages of densely written journals can provide. Even if you are an academic, who has time to read all the interesting stuff out there anyways? So in an effort to save your eyes taking on a comically rectangular shape the positive psychology podcast brings the science of the good life to your earbuds.

The Social Breakdown | Ellen, Omar and Penn

Our goal for this podcast is to breakdown our complex world one topic at a time. Join us as we exercise our sociological imagination!

We are your hosts – Penn, Ellen, and Omar – all students of sociology. In our quest to bring sociology down from the ivory tower of academia, we have started this podcast as an effort to do good public sociology. A lot is going on right now in our confusing society, and sociology has a lot of tools and insight to offer. If it happens in society, sociology is interested!

Social Distance Assistance | VPM

A podcast about looking for the helpers during the pandemic. Taking a cue from Mr. Rogers, host Kelly Jones and her daughter, June, set out to find creative problem solvers who are supporting their communities in the era of social distancing. They explore how people are helping and sit down with experts who can answer our most pressing questions and share advice on how to become helpers ourselves.

Choiceology | Katy Milkman

Listen in as host Katy Milkman shares stories of irrational decision making—from historical blunders to the kinds of everyday errors that could affect your future. Choiceology, an original podcast from Charles Schwab, explores the lessons of behavioral economics, exposing the psychological traps that lead to expensive mistakes.

Human Centered | John Markoff

Conversations about projects and research undertaken by scholars at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University. CASBS brings together great minds to generate new knowledge to address wicked problems and significant societal challenges. It is a place where boundaries and assumptions are challenged in order to advance our understanding of human beliefs, behaviors, interactions, and institutions. A place that is human centered.

Evidence to Impact | Penn State Social Science Research Institute

The Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative is comprised of dedicated Penn State researchers distributed across the domains of social science focused on translating research findings into practical insights for decision makers, with the ultimate aim to support the policymaking process and improve human outcomes. The podcast is supported by the Social Science Research Institute.

Big Brains | University of Chicago

Stories from the people behind the pioneering research and pivotal breakthroughs at the University of Chicago. Adweek’s “Best Branded Podcast” of 2020.

The Arch and the Anth Podcast | Michael B. C. Rivera

The Arch and Anth Podcast aims to provides entertaining and educational content about archaeology and anthropology. Host Michael B. C. Rivera is an expert in the study of human biology, human behavior and human societies worldwide, from the earliest beginnings to modern times. Episodes come out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, featuring a special guest talking about their work.

You can also visit their website for more information.

Psych Everywhere | PSI CHI The International Honor Society in Psychology 

This is the official podcast for Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. In each episode, distinguished guests weigh in on psychology’s role in contemporary issues and bettering your life.

A Slight Change of Plans | Dr. Maya Shankar

 There are few things in life that are as complex and messy—and potentially magical—as change. On A Slight Change of Plans, you’ll hear intimate conversations that give an unvarnished look into how people navigate changes of all kinds and use that change to ultimately grow. Maya uncovers little-known personal stories and reflections from familiar names like Hillary Clinton, Tiffany Haddish and Kacey Musgraves, and extraordinary stories from real-life inspirations, like a young cancer researcher in the throes of a stage 4 diagnosis and a Black jazz musician who convinced hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan. Their stories and circumstances couldn’t be more different, but they all share one thing in common: life threw them a (slight) change of plans.

Do you have a slight change of plans story you’d like to share? Leave a message on our change hotline at (917) 544-8977. It could just end up on a future episode of this show.

Don’t Call Me Resilient | The Conversation and Vinita Srivastava

This provocative new podcast discusses race and comes from The Conversation. Srivastava takes you deep into conversations with scholars and activists who view the world through an anti-racist lens. Instead of calling those who have survived the pain of systemic racism resilient, this podcast goes in search of solutions for those things no one should have to be resilient for.

Podcasts Influenced by the Social Sciences

These podcasts address topics pertaining to the social and behavioral sciences. They showcase a wonderful variety of opinions, thoughts, ideas and discussions by individuals hailing from a range of industries and backgrounds.

The Cybersecurity Readiness Podcast |Dave Chatterjee

The Cybersecurity Readiness podcast serves to have a reflective, thought-provoking and jargon free discussion on how to enhance the state of cybersecurity at an individual, organizational and national level. Host Dr. Dave Chatterjee converses with subject matter experts, business and technology leaders, trainers and educators and members of user communities. 

The Action Research Podcast | Adam Stieglitz, Vanessa Gold, Shikha Diwakar and Joe Levitan

Intended mostly for those interested in research and social change, The Action Research Podcast aims to offer unique and valuable insights for the field through accessible and engaging conversations about the “what” “why” and “how” of Action Research.

The Surviving Society Podcast | Chantelle Lewis and Tissot Regis

Exploring local and global politics of race and class from a sociological perspective.

The Sunday Show | Tech Policy Press

Tech Policy Press is a startup nonprofit media & community venture that will provoke debate and discussion at the intersection of technology and democracy.

Do Better Research | Suzanne Albary 

Welcome to Do Better Research, a learning-focused podcast about research methods. My name is Dr Suzanne Albary, and I’ll be guiding you through research methods to become a better researcher, both for academic study and professional practice. Listen for interviews with active researchers from all sorts of disciplines to hear how they use certain methods, what methodologies work for them, and their top tips for doing better research.

More or Less | Tim Harford and BBC Radio 4

Tim Harford and the More or Less team try to make sense of the statistics which surround us. 

 

Unlocking Us | Brené Brown

Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted.

Practical Significance | Amstat News

A podcast to inspire listeners with compelling stories from statistics and data science and to propel data-driven careers forward with learning opportunities for all. 

 

Reply All | Gimlet Media 

Reply All is hosted by PJ Vogt, Alex Goldman, and Emmanuel Dzotsi. Our show first aired in 2014, and nowadays is downloaded around 5 million times per month. The show features stories about how people shape the internet, and how the internet shapes people. Vogt and Goldman previously hosted the technology and culture podcast TLDR for WNYC.

Making Sense | Sam Harris

Join Sam Harris as he explores some of the most important questions about the human mind, society, and current events.

Stats and Stories | John Bailer, Richard Campbell and Rosemary Pennington 

A podcast about the statistics behind the stories and the stories behind the statistics. 

New Books Network | Marshall Poe 

A podcast with Marshall Poe, editor of the New Books Network, who sits down with authors to talk about their new books on a range of topics within the social and behavioral sciences. 

The New Yorker Fiction Podcast | Deborah Treisman

A monthly reading and conversation with the New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman.

Anarchism Research Group | Loughborough University

The ARG provides an informal space for the discussion, exploration and analysis of anarchist ideas and practices; support anarchism research across scholarly disciplines in the University; help raise the profile of anarchist studies through scholarship and public engagement; co-ordinate with external networks to promote international collaborative work and anarchism research at Loughborough University; organise seminars for postgraduate researchers working on aspects of anarchist history and politics.  

Resistance | Saidu Tejan-Thomas Jr.

Resistance  tells stories about black activism across the globe. It is about people refusing to accept things as they are.

Story-telling/Story-listening | Jessica Hum

Story-telling / Story-listening podcast explores multiple Indigenous and cultural epistemologies (worldviews, sciences, pedagogies, cosmology). It documents a practice of recording oral stories/teachings as a method of preparation for climate change (changes to land, water, living beings and inter-relationships). The host, Jessica Hum, aims to build relationships of mutual respect and reciprocity, producing a series of podcasts which serve as a boundary object. As a self-identified Indigenous-Chinese-Canadian person, this research represents a step in the direction of her own personal decolonization.

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe | Steven Novella, Jay Novella, Cara Santa Maria, Bob Novella, Evan Bernstein

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is dedicated to promoting critical thinking and science literacy through insightful content and resources including an award-winning weekly podcast.

Short Wave | Maddie Sofia

New discoveries, everyday mysteries, and the science behind the headlines — all in about 10 minutes, every weekday. It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Social Worker’s Break Room | Treehouse Sound Inc

Social Worker’s Break Room was born out of the need to have a safe space where we can talk about all the unspoken truths of social work and beyond. We are social workers based in the Southwest,  we both hold a MSW from Arizona State University and come to this show with years of experience in the field both in the micro and macro level. What does that mean? We are community social workers who love clinical work but also understand that in order to make a long-lasting impact and change we must be vocal and active advocates.

You can visit their website for more information.

Intersectionality Matters | Kimberlé Crenshaw and the African American Policy Forum

In each episode, Kimberlé Crenshaw, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles and Columbia Law School and developer of the theory of intersectionality, interviews thinkers, creatives, advocates and academics about how the issues of the day reflect the reality of intersectionality.

Throughline | NPR

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.

Rough Translation | NPR

How are the things we’re talking about being talked about somewhere else in the world? Gregory Warner tells stories that follow familiar conversations into unfamiliar territory. At a time when the world seems small but it’s as hard as ever to escape our echo chambers, Rough Translation takes you places.

SOLD OUT: Rethinking Housing in America | KQED

Tents, evictions and gentrification. SOLD OUT envisions what home should be by examining California, the epicenter of the nation’s housing affordability crisis. Meet the dreamers and doers who are finding solutions to high housing costs because none of us can afford to wait.

The Social Matters | Nadia, Fran, Eugene

Three friends that happen to be social workers discuss current social issues from their front room. Expect debate and hard hitting real talk with a sprinkle of top drawer humor to keep it moving.

American Tapestry Project | WQLN

In the “American Tapestry: We Tell Ourselves Stories,” Andrew Roth explores the post-1968 shattering of the American story by asking “What is the ‘story of America’? Is there such a thing? Is there only one story, or are there many stories? If there are many stories, how are they woven, can they be woven, together to tell the story of America?”

Inspired Living | Shawn Horn

Inspired Living is a health and wellness podcast discussing topics related to personal growth, self-improvement, relationships, psychology, and living wholeheartedly. With more than two decades of clinical experience, clinical psychologist Shawn Horn, is now bringing the wisdom of the therapy room to her listeners by sharing insights, experience and expert knowledge; as well as hosting inspirational discussions with other experts in the field and people regarding their journey of hope, healing and how to live fully. Learn how the foundations of psychology, science and principles of wisdom can inspire, motivate, empower and equip us to live more effectively and masterfully. We inspire by living an inspired life! The show’s host is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice, faculty at the UW School of Medicine, a mentor and consultant to other helping professionals and medical providers, founder of @psychologydirectory, columnist of TOI Magazine.

Personality Love Lab | So Syncd

Interviews with real people and real couples to delve deeper into the dynamics of personality types and love. Brought to you by the two sisters who founded So Syncd, the first dating app and website based on personality types.

S-Town | Brian Reed

S-Town is a new podcast from Serial and This American Life, hosted by Brian Reed, about a man named John who despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks Brian to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, and the search for the truth leads to a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life.

Your Brain at Work | Neuroleadership Institute

In organizations around the world, leaders are facing a deluge of urgent issues: a crisis in employee engagement, the need to make workforces more diverse, and the challenge of making workplaces feel human in an era of increasing dependence on technology and remote communication. At the NeuroLeadership Institute, we believe brain science can help provide solutions. Join us on Your Brain At Work, where top researchers and thought leaders share breakthroughs in brain science and industry leaders reveal the strategies behind their success. Combining research and practice, brain science and business leadership, Your Brain at Work explores how insights from the lab can provide solutions that work across industries and at any scale. 

This American Life | WBEZ Chicago

This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme. 

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Kenalyn Ang

Kenalyn Ang is the social science communications intern with SAGE Publishing. She is also a communications student at the USC Annenberg School. Her research focuses on consumer behavior, identity-making and representation through the written word, and creative sensory marketing and branding strategies.

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