Anthropology / Everything Human

Season 2

Season 2

SAPIENS Season 2 has launched!


The SAPIENS podcast is an editorially independent series supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and produced by House of Pod.


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.



Want to know “Why do humans_______?!” Finish the question and be featured in an episode. Tweet us with the hashtag #sapienspodcast or call 970-368-9730!



Are Colors Universal?

How do language, biology, and culture shape an individual’s experience of color? A journalist investigates the anthropological debate about whether color is a human universal.



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.




Do You Dream What I Dream?

DreamsAnthropologist 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.



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.




Where Have All the Denisovans Gone?

New York Times writer Carl Zimmer and SAPIENS columnist Anna Goldfield help explain humanity’s ever-expanding family tree and why Homo sapiens outlasted our ancient relatives.



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.