Cover art for podcast Origin Stories

Origin Stories

76 EpisodesProduced by The Leakey FoundationWebsite

Explore human evolution one story at a time. This award-winning show blends storytelling with science that will change your understanding of who we are.


Episode 18: Empathy

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 empathy has a long evolutionary history in humans.   Frans de Waal is the C.H. Candler Professor of Psychology at Emory University where he directs the Living Links Center for the Advanced Study of Ape and Human Evolution. He’s the author of several books including The Age of Empathy, and most recently, Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?   Credits: Nancy Rosenbaum produced our story. Our editor is Audrey Quinn. Theme music by Henry Nagle. Additional music by Podington Bear, Lee Rosevere, and Box Cat Records. Being Human Bonus produced by Meredith Johnson.   Being Human: This episode was produced as part of the Being Human initiative. A joint project of The Leakey Foundation and the Baumann Foundation.    The Being Human initiative is all about why we experience our lives the way we do, including our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Keep listening after our story for the “Being Human Bonus Segment” where we talk about  how the science in this episode applies to real world situations. Our guest is Natalee Hanson, a special education teacher who works with students who have emotional and behavioral disabilities.   The Leakey Foundation: Origin Stories is a project of The Leakey Foundation. The Leakey Foundation advances human origins research and offers educational opportunities to cultivate a deeper, collective understanding of what it means to be human. We give research grants to scientists and share their groundbreaking discoveries through our podcast, website, and lecture programs. We also give scholarships to students from developing countries to attend field schools and earn advanced degrees.   You can help The Leakey Foundation fund important scientific research and outreach programs like this podcast by making a tax-deductible donation to The Leakey Foundation. Visit before August 31st and your donation will be doubled!    Adept Word Management: Origin Stories is sponsored by Adept Word Management. Intelligent transcripts. Visit them for all of your transcription needs at    You can find transcripts of our past episodes at  

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Origin Stories


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens