Newswise — The Smithsonian’s podcast “Sidedoor” returns today with an episode dedicated to the mysterious death of a Smithsonian scientist 150 years ago. When Robert Kennicott, the young, dynamic scientist, was found dead beside a river while on a surveying expedition, the most plausible explanation was suicide. However, it was based on fairly thin evidence, and Kennicott scholars have always questioned it. This episode reopens the case, and listeners will trace the steps of the Smithsonian’s world-renowned forensic anthropologists as they finally solve the mystery of Kennicott’s death.
Sidedoor launched its first season Oct. 26, 2016, and cracked the top 10 of the Apple Podcasts charts in its first week. The podcast maintains a five-star rating from Apple Podcasts listeners and was named one of the top 50 podcasts of 2016 by Atlantic magazine. Sidedoor has received more than 450,000 listens to date.
Episodes in the new season of Sidedoor will take a deeper dive into a single topic, rather than tell three shorter stories per episode as in season one. The podcast draws on the Smithsonian’s vast resources of museums, research centers and expertise, transporting listeners behind the scenes with stories that cannot always be told through a museum exhibit. This season, listeners will hear from a marine biologist hunting for a cancer cure in Florida’s waters, a combat photographer who captures reality and the humanity of war, and a historian who will make the case that beer history is American history.
“I’m thrilled with the reception from listeners to something that is brand new and a little bit different for the Smithsonian,” said Sidedoor host Tony Cohn. “I’m constantly in awe of the work happening here. Sharing it with larger audiences is as fun as it is rewarding.”
Also new this season is Smithsonian’s collaboration with PRX, one of the leading podcast companies and distributor of hits like Reveal, The Moth, Outside magazine’s podcast and the Radiotopia network. PRX will expand Sidedoor’s reach into even more earbuds.
“PRX is thrilled to work with the Smithsonian to help translate the in-person experience of discovery and wonder to students, families and fans through highly produced, unforgettable podcasts,” said PRX Chief Content Officer John Barth.
Sidedoor is produced by Smithsonian Digital Studios, and new episodes will be available every other Wednesday. Listeners can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts or stream it on si.edu/sidedoor. Sidedoor is also on Twitter at @SidedoorPod, where followers can get an insider look at how episodes come together.