Smithsonian Launches Season Seven of Sidedoor Podcast

October 6, 2021
News Release

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Illustration of three elephants standing in a city

The Smithsonian’s flagship podcast Sidedoor returns today, Oct. 6, for its seventh season. The season opens with an episode exploring the endangered Asian elephant population. As the risk of extinction stabilizes, host Lizzie Peabody talks with elephant researchers in India to understand the relationship between herds and the human habitats they encounter.

“At the ripe old age of seven, Sidedoor is taking more risks than ever this season,” Peabody said. “We’ve rallied behind the challenge of recording behind-the-scenes stories from the Smithsonian remotely, and now we’re excited to get back into the museums to broadcast surprising, zany, challenging and sometimes spooky stories.”

Sidedoor investigates lesser-known Smithsonian stories from beyond the public view, with Peabody and renowned Smithsonian experts offering insights along the way. The newest season of Sidedoor will feature 15 episodes and a wide range of topics, including the unexpected connection between performance art and the world’s leading leech specialist.

Since its debut in 2016, Sidedoor has had more than 9 million downloads. The podcast is a collaboration between the Smithsonian and PRX, a public media pioneer that brings listeners iconic audio programming, including “This American Life,” “The Moth Radio Hour,” “Latino USA,” “Snap Judgment,” “The World” and the Radiotopia podcast network.

“We’re thrilled that Sidedoor is back for a new season—the show continues to prove that the breadth of stories that emerge from the institution’s museums and archives are endless,” said Genevieve Sponsler, senior producer at PRX. “Each episode’s story is told with a care and curiosity only possible from the experts and network of the Smithsonian.”

Smithsonian Digital Studio produces Sidedoor. Listeners can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts or stream it on New episodes are available every other Wednesday.

Sign up for the Sidedoor newsletter or follow Sidedoor on Twitter and Instagram to get a sneak peek at the making of the podcast.

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Madeleine Weyand-Geise

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