Shuffle for fans



More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults. But where the public’s view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through the Smithsonian’s side door, tellingRead more

Popular episodes

Love in the Time of Emoji

Dec 1 • 27:50

When LOL just isn't enough to respond to a friend's killer joke, emoji are there for you. But for many people, there isn't an emoji to represent them or the things they want to say. This has pushed activists, designers, and straight up regular folks to create their own emoji. It's not as easy an undertaking as you might think, but every now and then one of these new emoji ...

Light of Freedom

Nov 17 • 27:49

There’s a new sculpture at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden: a giant torch that’s strikingly familiar – and entirely unique. Artist Abigail DeVille has reimagined the Statue of Liberty’s torch to shine a light on historical contradictions of American freedom. Through her work, DeVille asks us to re-examine the stories we’ve inherited as a nation, inc...

King of the Herbs

Nov 3 • 29:36

It’s a wild herb that countless cultures have used for centuries as a wonder drug to cure any ailment. It's so rare and valuable that it’s been dug to extinction nearly everywhere, except a small area of the United States. This time on Sidedoor, we go searching for the elusive wild American ginseng — and find that scientists, conservationists, and criminals are also on the...


Oct 20 • 30:35

Leeches don’t get a lot of love. They’re slimy, wriggly, and, well, they suck — blood that is. But there’s a lot to learn about the lowly leech. Led by a troupe of Smithsonian experts, we’ll discover how these toothy hangers-on wormed their way into medical practices, performance art, and EVERY human cavity. Yes, even that one. It's a journey of discovery from the swamp to...

Make Way for Elephants

Oct 6 • 29:10

It’s Season Seven!

Sep 29 • 01:29

Bonus: Patsy Mink

Sep 22 • 07:09

A new season of Sidedoor is just two weeks away! In the meantime, we’re sharing a special guest episode from Wonder Media Network’s podcast, “Encyclopedia Womannica.” In this episode, you’ll hear about the life of Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress and run for U.S. President. She was also the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Re...

Bonus: Happy Birthday to Us

Aug 18 • 30:54

The “Men of Progress” painting, from 1862, shows the first Secretary of the Smithsonian surrounded by a group of scientists and inventors credited with “altering the course of contemporary civilization.” But what may be most remarkable about this tableau is who’s not there. To mark the 175th anniversary of the Smithsonian’s founding, the National Portrait Gallery’s Portrai...

Olympic Bonus: Shredding Skateboarding’s Glass Ceiling

Jul 23 • 35:05

This summer – for the first time ever - skateboarding will be an Olympic sport. In honor of its Olympic debut, we’re revisiting one of our favorite episodes: the story of how the best women skateboarders stood toe-to-toe with the most powerful people in the industry to demand equal pay. One of those women is none other than Mimi Knoop, who is coaching the USA women’s skate...

The Battle of Blair Mountain

Jul 14 • 28:53

100 years ago, in the hills of West Virginia, Black, white and European immigrant coal miners banded together to demand better pay and safer working conditions and were met with machine guns. While the story made headlines in 1921, it didn't make it into the history books. In our final episode of the season, we unearth this buried history to help mark the centennial of the...

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