Origin Stories

Origin Stories

www.leakeyfoundation.org/originstories
The Leakey Foundation Podcast
34: From the Archive - Margaret Mead
Jan 10 • 51 min
In this never-before-released archival lecture from 1974, anthropologist Margaret Mead discusses the lives of women from prehistoric through modern times.
33: From the Archive - Dian Fossey
Dec 13, 2018 • 54 min
In this never-before-released archival lecture from 1973, the legendary primatologist Dian Fossey tells the story of the early years of her groundbreaking mountain gorilla research.
32: From the Archive - Carl Sagan
Nov 28, 2018 • 48 min
Carl Sagan explores the evolution of human intelligence from the big bang, fifteen billion years ago, through today in this never-before-released archival lecture.
31: The Four Year War
Nov 14, 2018 • 26 min
A scientist solves the mystery of the only known chimpanzee civil war…thus far.
Origin Stories Season Three Preview
Nov 1, 2018 • 2 min
Origin Stories returns November 15th with more stories about how we became human.
28: What They Left Behind [Rebroadcast]
Jun 6, 2018 • 38 min
Why did early humans make art? What does it mean? Renowned prehistorian Jean Clottes has been working to answer those questions for more than 50 years. This episode was the winner of the Prix Marulić International Audio Festival in the documentary…
30: Tales From the Field [LIVE]
Dec 30, 2017 • 29 min
Kelly Stewart, Dorothy Cheney, and Robert Seyfarth share stories of gun smuggling, close encounters with hippos, and fan mail from one of the world’s most infamous mass murderers.
29: Rewriting Our Story
Nov 6, 2017 • 23 min
A fossil discovery in North Africa changes our understanding of when, where, and how modern humans evolved.
28: What They Left Behind
Sep 28, 2017 • 38 min
Why did early humans make art? What does it mean? Renowned prehistorian Jean Clottes has been working to answer those questions for more than 50 years.
27: Out of Eden the Long Way
Sep 21, 2017 • 31 min
Paul Salopek is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and National Geographic Explorer who is on an epic ten-year journey around the world on foot, tracing the path of early human migration out of Africa.
26: Rising Star
Sep 14, 2017 • 39 min
Her mission: squeeze through a 10-inch crack in a cave wall to help excavate an incredible fossil find.
25: Stones and How to Use Them
Sep 7, 2017 • 23 min
Ancient stone tools are not a mystery if you know how to use them.
24: Ancestor
Aug 31, 2017 • 25 min
A Kenyan paleontologist has a hunch that leads to the find of a lifetime.
Season 2 Preview
Aug 10, 2017 • 2 min
Our new season of Origin Stories is coming soon! This is a sneak preview of the first episode.
23: The Past, Present, and Future of Violence - LIVE
May 26, 2017 • 25 min
Why do humans engage in violence? Why do we cooperate in peace? How has violence changed over the course of human history?
22: Altruism
Apr 7, 2017 • 21 min
Why do people risk their own lives to save a stranger? Why do we share food or give money to charity?
21: Follow the Leader?
Mar 7, 2017 • 20 min
Every animal that lives in groups has to make decisions as a group. Even a seemingly simple decision like “where should we go for dinner?” can be complicated to negotiate. Is there a simple rule behind how humans and other animals make…
09: Did Cooking Make Us Human? (Re-release)
Dec 30, 2016 • 25 min
Humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so…
20: The Power Paradox - LIVE
Nov 7, 2016 • 41 min
The Power Paradox What is power? Where does social power come from? What happens in our bodies and with our behavior when we have power and when we don’t? What can we learn about lasting social power from small-scale hunter-gatherer societies?…
19: Being Human - Born and Evolved to Run
Oct 27, 2016 • 35 min
Humans and our recent ancestors have been accomplished endurance runners for more than a million years. Our evolutionary history as runners partly accounts for why aerobic exercise is such a key component of human health. In this talk, recorded in…
18: Empathy
Aug 25, 2016 • 25 min
Empathy has long been considered a uniquely human trait, but it’s an ability that has also been observed in apes and other animals. Primatologist Frans de Waal says that examples of empathy in non-human primates and other mammals suggest that…
04: How to Document a Society (Re-release)
Aug 12, 2016 • 17 min
Every day for 55 years a dedicated group of researchers, students, and field assistants have spent their days crawling through thorns and vines as they follow chimpanzees to observe their behavior. They write everything down in notes and on maps and…
17: Being Human - Speaking of Sex
Jul 14, 2016 • 29 min
Humans are very verbal compared to other animals. We talk constantly, and our voices can signal many things beyond the meaning of our words. The human voice is also highly differentiated between the sexes. In this live recording of our…
16: Neanderthals
Jul 1, 2016 • 23 min
People have been fascinated with Neanderthals since they were first discovered in the mid-1800s. For a long time, they have been seen as dumb, brutish cavemen. As more discoveries have been made in the past few decades, our picture of who Neanderthals…
15: The Grandmother Hypothesis
May 28, 2016 • 13 min
When Kristen Hawkes first started to research the foraging habits of the Hadza hunter-gatherers, she noticed that the older women in the society were spending their time collecting food and sharing it with their grandchildren. She started to wonder if…
14: Being Human - Why Do We Laugh?
May 17, 2016 • 39 min
Laughter is a universal human behavior. Have you ever wondered why we laugh or what it really means when we do? Greg Bryant of UCLA studies the evolution of communication and vocal behavior, especially of spontaneous vocal expressions such as…
13: Evolutionary Arms Race
Apr 28, 2016 • 21 min
In this episode we take a closer look at the evolutionary arms race between humans and the microbes that make us sick. What does each side bring to the fight? Dr. Pardis Sabeti of Harvard University is a computational biologist who uses math and…
12: The Origins of Tuberculosis
Mar 24, 2016 • 18 min
Tuberculosis is the world’s leading cause of death by infectious disease, and it has been plaguing humanity for a very long time. In the first episode of a two-part series on infectious disease and human evolution, Dr. Anne Stone of Arizona State…
11: Face Mites
Feb 25, 2016 • 19 min
The bad news is that everybody has face mites. The good news is that these tiny cousins of spiders and ticks seem to be harmless for the vast majority of us. In this episode, entomologist and evolutionary biologist Michelle…
10: Being Human with Alison Gopnik
Jan 19, 2016 • 38 min
A Live Episode
09: Did Cooking Make Us Human?
Dec 29, 2015 • 18 min
We humans have evolved very differently from other primates. Is there one thing responsible for humans becoming human? Some evolutionary biologists think that the way we process our food, namely cooking it, could explain why our species developed so…
08: Being Human with Robert Sapolsky
Dec 5, 2015 • 38 min
This episode of Origin Stories was recorded live in San Francisco as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. It was the first of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation’s new “Being Human” event series. Our speaker was Robert…
07: The Currant Bush of Life with Bernard Wood
Nov 24, 2015 • 17 min
In On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin used a sketch of a tree of life to help describe his theory of evolution. In this metaphor, the branches of the tree represent the relationships between all living and extinct creatures. Humans, like all…
06: Being a Nice Animal
Oct 27, 2015 • 18 min
For over 35 years Dorothy Cheney and Robert Seyfarth have been studying wild African primates in order to better understand the evolution of the human mind. In this episode they tell us about their long-term study of free-ranging baboons in the…
05: Discovery at Ledi-Geraru
Aug 26, 2015 • 15 min
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to make a major fossil discovery? Arizona State University graduate student Chalachew Seyoum and professor Kaye Reed tell us their exciting story. Seyoum was working as part of a team co-directed by…
04: How to Document a Society
Aug 5, 2015 • 16 min
Every day for 55 years a dedicated group of researchers, students, and Tanzanian field assistants have spent their days crawling through thorns and vines as they follow chimpanzees to observe their behavior. They write everything down in notes and on…
03: Jane Goodall
Jun 30, 2015 • 24 min
Dr. Jane Goodall is a legend. She is a science hero, a trailblazing researcher who inspires people around the world. In this episode, Jane Goodall shares part of the story of how she went from working as a secretary to becoming the world’s leading…
02: Why Do We Get Hiccups?
May 26, 2015 • 18 min
Hiccups are an annoyance that we all deal with, but don’t usually give much thought to. In this episode of Origin Stories, independent producer Ben Nimkin brings us the remarkable story of Charles Osborne, a man who holds the Guiness World Record…
01: On Two Feet
Apr 28, 2015 • 13 min
One of the things that makes us different from other animals is the way we move around on two feet. Figuring out how and why our ancestors first stood up is one of the big questions in the study of human evolution. Carol Ward is an anatomy professor…
Intro to Origin Stories
Mar 31, 2015 • 1 min
Origin Stories is The Leakey Foundation’s new podcast about what it means to be human, and the science behind what we know about ourselves. Our show will explore the biology and the millions of years of evolution that shape the way we look and act today.