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December 18, 2018
Being Afghan in America: In the Field with Morwari Zafar
How does an immigrant become an American? How does anyone join any group? SAPIENS host Esteban Gomez shares the story of Dr. Morwari Zafar, a researcher who has studied the changes in her own community of Afghan-Americans in Fremont, California, in the wake of 9/11. From the first major wave of immigration in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to 9/11 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, the Afghan-American community has been in flux, exemplifying the mysteries of group identity, dynamics, and nationhood.
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32 min
December 4, 2018
What’s the Cost of Quinoa?
SAPIENS host Jen Shannon goes on a mission to find out how quinoa travels from farmers’ fields in Huanoquite, Peru, to markets in Lima and the U.S. She discovers quinoa’s complicated past and present: a bloody civil war that shook the nation, the chefs who tried to use food as a racial reconciliation project, and the current economic and social pressures small producers face when they take on huge risks to bring their product from field to market.
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31 min
November 20, 2018
How to Care for the Dead
Scientists have thought about burial—the act of interring a dead body—as a distinctly human behavior. So what happened when a group of paleoanthropologists discovered a primitive hominid that may have entombed its dead?  And how do people respond when they are unable to find and care for the remains of their loved ones? SAPIENS host Jen Shannon talks to Mercedes Doretti, about the 38,000 people who have disappeared in Mexico since 2006.
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30 min
November 13, 2018
BONUS: A Conversation with Carl Zimmer about DNA, Identity, and Heredity
Surprise! As a special holiday treat, the SAPIENS team is presenting this unedited conversation between SAPIENS host Chip Colwell and acclaimed science journalist Carl Zimmer about DNA, identity, and heredity. This conversation was previously excerpted in our episode “Is Your DNA You?” It took place in front of a live audience at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on June 20, 2018.
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78 min
November 6, 2018
Is Space a Human Place?
From space junk and the International Space Station to Elon Musk and SpaceX, space is becoming a more human place. What will it mean for us to live among the stars? SAPIENS host Jen Shannon probes the nascent field of space archaeology and looks to the mystery of exoplanets for answers.
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32 min
October 23, 2018
Power Players: US Football and French Rugby
Some athletes seem larger than life. They are revered and imitated—and they seemingly hold a lot of power. But whether they feel empowered in their lives and choices off the field depends on a variety of complex factors. We explore the experiences of black college football players in the U.S. and Fijian rugby players who migrate to play on teams in France to learn more.
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27 min
October 9, 2018
Close to Home: In the Field With Amy Starecheski
What is home? SAPIENS host Esteban Gómez follows Amy Starecheski, a researcher who has studied how squatters went legit and secured homeownership in New York City, as she seeks to answer these questions and more. With Starecheski, Gómez moves through two New York neighborhoods—the Lower East Side in Manhattan and Mott Haven in the Bronx. They discuss how people have navigated massive restructuring and shifts in housing policy in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
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29 min
September 25, 2018
The Mastodon in the Room
Humans may have been in North America much earlier than previously thought. Here’s the evidence: chipped rocks, crushed mastodon bones, and reliable dates showing the remains are 130,000 years old. Is that enough to rewrite the history? SAPIENS co-hosts Chip Colwell and Jen Shannon talk to Steven and Kathleen Holen, archaeologists and co-authors of a controversial discovery. And they further evaluate the claims with the help of anthropologist Todd Braje.
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30 min
September 12, 2018
Prepping for TEOTWAWKI
It’s the end of the world as we know it. How do you feel? SAPIENS co-host Jen Shannon follows the trail of some contemporary preppers with the help of anthropologist Chad Huddleston. Then she dives into history with Tim Kohler, an archaeologist and expert on Ancestral Puebloan peoples of the U.S. Southwest.
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35 min
August 28, 2018
Is Robot Empathy a Trap?
Can robots care? And why should we care if they do? SAPIENS host Jen Shannon meets Pepper the robot, and host Chip Colwell goes on a quest to find out how the robotics industry is (re)shaping intimacy in Japan. He speaks with anthropologists Jennifer Robertson, Daniel White, and Hirofumi Katsuno, all researchers in the field of robotics, to learn more about what artificial emotion can teach us about what it means to be human.
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31 min
August 14, 2018
Is Your DNA You?
What does your DNA have to do with who you are? On a journey for answers, SAPIENS hosts Chip Colwell, Jen Shannon, and Esteban Gómez take consumer DNA tests and confront murky, interconnected issues of identity and heredity. Their guides include science journalist Carl Zimmer and anthropologists Deborah Bolnick and Kim TallBear.
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39 min
August 4, 2018
A Trailer for Everything Human
What makes you … you? Is it your DNA, culture, environment?SAPIENS hosts Jen Shannon, Esteban Gómez, and SAPIENS.org Editor-in-Chief Chip Colwell speak with anthropologists from around the globe to help us uncover what makes us human. Subscribe now to learn more. The SAPIENS podcast is supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and produced by House of Pod.
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2 min
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