195 episodes

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

Sidedoor Smithsonian Institution

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 2K Ratings

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

    Cosmic Journey I: "Stellar Buffoonery"

    Cosmic Journey I: "Stellar Buffoonery"

    Black holes could unlock the mysteries of creation and live at the heart of nearly every galaxy. But these invisible balls of extremely dense matter have never been fully understood, especially when they were only a theory. We travel through a cosmic wormhole back to the 1930s to learn how the first astrophysicist to successfully theorize a black hole, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, was ridiculed and rejected by his scientific community.This is the first episode of a two-part journey celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's operation of the space telescope. Join us this summer for a cosmic journey full of events and virtual resources from around the Smithsonian that will transport you from our closest star, the sun, to the far reaches of the universe. Find the full schedule on our website, si.edu/cosmicjourney. Or follow along on social media @Smithsonian.Guests: Kim Arcand, Visualization Scientist and Emerging Tech Lead for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Priyamvada Natarajan, astrophysicist and professor at Yale University  Arthur I. Miller, author of "Empire Of The Stars: Obsession, Friendship, and Betrayal in the Quest for Black Holes"

    • 34 min
    Cicadapalooza

    Cicadapalooza

    The cicadas are back for some fun in the sun, and this time, they’re louder than ever! For the first time since 1803, Broods XIII and XIX will be emerging at the same time, covering the American South and Midwest with trillions of cicadas. As Smithsonian entomologist Floyd Shockley readies his nets for the biggest bug invasion in centuries, we look back at the emergence of Brood X in 2021, and explore how cicadas have captivated our human ancestors for millennia.

    Guests:

    Floyd Shockley, entomologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

    Gao Hong, professional pipa player, composer, and educator

    Jim Deutsch, curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

    Jan Stuart, Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

    • 33 min
    The Birds and the Beans

    The Birds and the Beans

    "God in a cup." "Perfection." "The world's best coffee." Panamanian geisha coffee has been called many things, but never Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified. That might soon change, however, as researchers from Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center find new ways to grow coffee in harmony with migratory songbirds. Join us for this fully caffeinated romp through Panama’s coffee farms as we learn all about the birds and the beans. 

    Guests: 

    Ruth Bennett, research ecologist at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s Migratory Bird Center

    Katherine Araúz Ponce, fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and PhD student at The University of Georgia

    Maria Ruiz, owner of Ruiz Coffee Distributors

    Ratibor & Aliss Hartmann, owners of Finca Hartmann, specialty coffee and ecotourism 

    Price Peterson, owner of Hacienda La Esmeralda 

    • 37 min
    Dude, Where’s my Carbon?

    Dude, Where’s my Carbon?

    If you’ve bought a plane ticket recently, you’ve probably had the option to pay a few extra dollars to offset your carbon emissions. That money might go toward planting some trees… but how many trees? Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute are trying to answer this very question by hand-measuring trees, weighing wood, and climbing to the top of the canopy. We tag along to see how carbon is measured, and why so much ends up in tropical forests.  

    Guests:

    Joshua Tewksbury, director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama

    Helene Muller-Landau, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute researching tropical forests and ecosystems, leader of ForestGEO Global Carbon Program

    David Mitre, research manager for ForestGEO at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

    Sergio dos Santos, project manager for the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Hydro-Meteorological and Oceanographic Monitoring Program in Panama

    Luisa Fernanda Gómez Correa, intern at the Forest Carbon Lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

    Eline De Loore, graduate student at Ghent University conducting research at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

    • 32 min
    Monkeyin' Around on the Devil's Island

    Monkeyin' Around on the Devil's Island

    It started as a rumor in the cafeteria of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama: monkeys on an island in the Pacific were doing something no one had ever seen them do before. But when researchers went searching for these elusive capuchin monkeys, they discovered more questions than answers.

    Guests:

    Claudio Monteza, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute fellow and researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

    Brendan Barrett, researcher at the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

    Meg Crofoot, director of the Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. Former Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute fellow

    • 28 min
    Face Value

    Face Value

    Money is power. But who's on our money - or isn’t - can be just as powerful. While Lady Liberty has graced American coins and dollars for most of our history, it wasn’t until the 1970s that a real woman appeared on a circulating American coin. But that's about to change. Congress recently authorized the creation of twenty new quarters featuring American women from history. But how do we decide whose likeness gets engraved in our national story? And who makes these decisions? We’ll follow the money to find out.

    Guests:

    Jennifer Schneider, former program manager at Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, current assistant registrar of outgoing and government loans at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

    Tey Marianna Nunn, former director of the American Women’s History Initiative at the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum, current associate director for content and interpretation at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino

    Ellen Feingold, curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

    Joseph Menna, chief engraver at the United States Mint

    Tim Grant, public affairs manager at the United States Mint

    Dave Clark, supervisor of blanking annealing and upsetting at the United States Mint

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
2K Ratings

2K Ratings

AnnOh305 ,

Interesting Topics Not Stressful

We listen to podcasts during dinner and Sidedoor is an excellent non-stressful very well done, informative, entertaining, and engaging podcast. We have learned a lot about things we had no idea about. Highly recommend.

Fran from PT ,

This is a great podcast

Always well researched and interestingly presented - Great job sidedoor hosts, I always look forward to another podcast by you!

dataylor1 ,

Great stories

All these follow their subjects in such great depth! Especially liked the Building a Movement and Face Value episodes.

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