Smithsonian Launches New Podcast About Technology, History, and Museums

By Matt Novak on at

Smithsonian has launched a new podcast called Sidedoor that takes listeners behind the scenes at the museums. The first episode, called Tech Yourself, looks at technology. And to be honest, the episode takes a while to get interesting. But it’s definitely worth a listen.

The first quarter of the first episode is comprised mostly of boring observations about our relationship with tech. Frankly, they’re about as profound as the kind of thing that you’d hear on local TV news. But when the hosts finally take us inside the museums of the Smithsonian (presumably through the sidedoor, get it?) and talk to some experts, listeners finally get what they came for.

For instance, once the hosts talk to Carlene Stephens, a curator who researches the concept of time at the Museum of Natural history, the show gets really good. The second episode gets into the interesting bits right away by taking us behind the scenes at the US National Postal Museum and talking with Frank Winter, an expert who describes experiments in the 1950s with rocket mail.

You can listen to the first two episodes at the links below and see what’s on the schedule for the next few months.

The Smithsonian podcast has a few kinks, but it’s a really solid start. Don’t let the opening of the first episode turn you off from the thing entirely. It has incredible potential, as you can hear in the interviews with Carlene Stephens and Frank Winter.

You can listen to the first two episodes of Sidedoor on iTunes and Google Play right now. The next episode, Confronting the Past, is scheduled for November 9th.