Dr. Chip Colwell is the editor-in-chief of SAPIENS, a co-host of the SAPIENS podcast, and the senior curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He has authored and edited 11 books, most recently Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture. He currently lives in Denver, but he dreams of moving to Tristan da Cunha with his family and cat adopted from Mexico.
Dr. Jen Shannon is a museum curator and an associate professor of cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a co-host of the SAPIENS podcast. She is the author of Our Lives: Collaboration, Native Voice, and the Making of the National Museum of the American Indian. Jen is also an avid ultimate frisbee player who embraces the “spirit of the game” and loves passing it on to the high schoolers she coaches.
What Does It Mean to be Human? Your Questions, Answered
In this season 2 finale of the SAPIENS podcast, hosts Jen Shannon, Chip Colwell, and Esteban Gómez field questions from listeners on Twitter and at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science about what it means to be human. They address human origins and self-awareness, discrimination, social media, and more!Subscribe
Does Generosity Come Naturally?
When anthropologist Cathryn Townsend headed into the field in 2009 to study generosity, she knew the project was for her. That’s because she was the only person, other than anthropologist Colin Turnbull, who had lived and studied with both the Mbuti people of the Congo region and the Ik of Uganda, she says. One community was known for its egalitarianism and the other for its selfishness.Subscribe
How Belonging Shapes the Vaccination Crisis
Why do some people vaccinate their kids? Why do others reject vaccinations? An anthropologist offers important insights into the social forces that underpin these vital decisions that affect public health.
The Deep Roots of Navajo Country Music
Are Colors Universal?Subscribe
Stringing Together an Ancient Empire’s Stories
For centuries, Andean people encoded messages in intricate patterns of knotted and colored strings known as khipus. Thanks to the collaborative approach of anthropologist Sabine Hyland and others, outsiders are finally coming to understand what these khipus mean—for the people of the Andes and for the rest of us.Subscribe
Do You Dream What I Dream?
Anthropologist Roger Lohmann sees a ghost in a dream while working in Papua New Guinea. Even though he knows it’s just a dream, he’s scared long after he wakes up. To make sense of his dream, Lohmann explores the role dreams play in our waking life and how different cultures make sense of dream worlds. Do all humans dream the same? Or do the cultures we are immersed in shape our dreams? Lohmann has six cultural dream theories that offer some answers to what dreams are and what they mean.Subscribe
What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting Down Syndrome
When Thomas Pearson’s newborn daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome, it changed the course of his life forever. Pearson joins SAPIENS hosts Jen Shannon and Chip Colwell to talk about his story, how his training in anthropology prepared him for his daughter’s diagnosis, and what he hopes other people can learn from his experience.Subscribe
Where Have All the Denisovans Gone?Subscribe
Eating Insects and the Yuck Factor
How come some people think eating insects is disgusting? Join SAPIENS hosts Jen Shannon and Chip Colwell as they dine on many-legged delicacies and delve into the world of entomophagy with anthropologist Julie Lesnik.