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Smithsonian Podcast: There's More to That

Smithsonian magazine covers history, science and culture in the way only it can — through a lens on the world that is insightful and grounded in richly reported stories. In There’s More to That, meet the magazine’s journalists and hear how they discover the forces behind the biggest issues of our time.

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Season 1

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September 21, 2023 | 30:40

Animals Aren't Humans. Why Can't We Stop Talking About Them As Though They Are?

We speak with Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian’s assistant digital science editor, about why stories about animal behavior are so popular with our readers, and how she decides which ones deserve more scrutiny. Then, Lori Marino, a biopsychologist with a specific focus on whale and dolphin intelligence, examines what’s really happening between the orcas and the yacht set.

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September 7, 2023 | 37:08

Meet the WWII Battalion of Black Women That Inspired an Army Base’s New Name

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was the only unit comprised entirely of Black women to have been deployed overseas during World War II, and it had served a critical function: clearing the backlog of mail that marked the only line of communication between American soldiers in Europe and their loved ones back home. We talk to the retired Army colonel who made it her business to get the 6888 their belated recognization and hear from some of the veterans themselves about their experiences training in the United States and serving abroad.

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August 24, 2023 | 36:23

Beyond the Titanic: The Real Science of Deep Sea Exploration

The loss earlier this summer of five passengers and crew, including OceanGate founder Stockton Rush, on a submersible dive to the wreckage of the Titanic sparks a conversation about what genuine undersea exploration looks like.

We speak with Tony Perrottet about his experience profiling Rush in 2019. Next, we’re joined by Susan Casey, the bestselling author of four books about the ocean and its creatures. Susan tells us why understanding the ocean is key to humanity’s survival, and explains that while serious research and shipwreck tourism may have some overlap, they are two very different things.

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August 10, 2023 | 23:51

What Happens When the Colorado River Dries Up?

What happens when one of the nation's largest rivers dries up? Photojournalist Pete McBride tells us about the consequences of a prolonged drought in the Colorado River, which provides drinking water and electricity to millions of Americans, and shares his experience walking the river from end to end. What can we learn from the landscape revealed by the historically low water levels, and will they become the new normal?

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July 27, 2023 | 17:42

How We See Oppenheimer. Plus: Smithsonian’s Inside Look at the Top-Secret Los Alamos Site

Christopher Nolan's epic new film "Oppenheimer" is no mere biopic… nor is it the first attempt to capture the father of the atomic bomb in fiction. We look at prior dramatizations of this very complicated man—including one wherein J. Robert Oppenheimer played himself!—and examine why they worked or didn't..

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July 27, 2023 | 25:37

He's (Not) Just Ken: The True History of Barbie’s Beau

With filmmaker Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" breaking box-office records, and devoting much of its story to Ken's existential crisis, we wondered if there's any more to Barbie's perennial plus-one. Journalist and lifelong Barbie fan Emily Tamkin talks us through his development, or lack thereof, over the decades.

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July 20, 2023 | 1:34

Coming July 27: There’s More to That from Smithsonian magazine and PRX

Smithsonian magazine covers history, science and culture in the way only it can — through a lens on the world that is insightful and grounded in richly reported stories. On There’s More to That, meet the magazine’s journalists and hear how they discover the forces behind the biggest issues of our time.