In July 2022, the GGSC announced the 19 winners of our grants to support the production of innovative nonfiction stories on intellectual humility.

Sarey Martin Concepción (left) and Dan Koch (center) of the You Have Permission podcast, with Scott Shigeoka (right), author of SEEK: How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World, at the GGSC's 2024 convening of researchers and journalists to discuss intellectual humility. © George Alfaro

The Intellectual Humility Reporting & Production Grants are part of a larger three-year project to raise awareness of research on intellectual humility and its implications, created in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation. After receiving 150 submissions, an expert committee of distinguished journalists and researchers narrowed the field to the final 19 grantees. Through many different media—including podcasts, magazine articles, YouTube videos, and radio stories—they have explored the topic of intellectual humility from a variety of angles and for a range of audiences.

In addition to financial support, offered in partnership with the John Templeton Foundation, the GGSC has connected the grantees with scientific experts who served as advisors to the projects, guiding them to relevant research and supporting the scientific accuracy of their work.

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Today, we’re highlighting 10 podcasts that received our support. We’ll later highlight work by nine other grant winners.

“Uncertain” podcast series, by Scientific American. In this five-episode series, Scientific American explores how uncertainty drives creativity and scientific discovery, and why things we don’t know we’re wrong about can undermine our perceptions. The series also explores how human narratives and prejudices can warp our view of reality, and it makes the case that intellectual humility is essential for scientific progress. Sample episode: Uncertainty Is Science’s Superpower. Make It Yours, Too.

Historically Thinking podcast series. These episodes focus on intellectual humility as a foundation of three historical thinking skills: evidence, research, and awareness of limits. The first three episodes defined intellectual humility; the next featured conversations with historians about how they have changed their minds and their positions, and how they have not. Sample episode: Intellectual Humility and Historical Thinking: Jonathan Zimmerman.

In Those Genes. ITG uses genetics to decode the lost histories and futures of African descendants. Each episode in their upcoming season will focus on “unpacking long-held myths about the genetics of Black folks” by centering intellectual humility, exploring how an understanding of bias and a questioning of one’s assumptions can broaden our understanding of behavioral phenotypes and the sociology of beliefs about race. The season hasn’t yet launched, but you can still listen to episodes of In Those Genes.

Conversations in Intellectual Humility, with JSTOR Daily. This is a series of six interviews that paired scholars of intellectual humility with community leaders, including a math teacher who teaches elementary students to learn from their peers, a reverend who helps people live with doubt, a doctor who admits she doesn’t know everything, and a bartender who explains how class determines what we admit we don’t know. Sample episode: Doing Math with Intellectual Humility.

A Deep Dive on Intellectual Humility, by Kelly Corrigan Wonders. This five-episode series addresses how positive change can occur when we let go of being “right” and open ourselves to the perspectives of others. Sample episode: The What, Why and How of Intellectual Humility.

The Role Mistakes Have in Learning at School, by KQED MindShift. Central to intellectual humility is individuals’ ability to accept their own knowledge deficits and errors to bring about intellectual growth. For this series, KQED MindShift produced four podcast episodes, a radio segment for NPR’s All Things Considered program, and other content on intellectual humility in the classroom. Sample episode: Inclusive Dress Codes: A Challenge and an Opportunity.

Not Sorry Productions Thinks Through Intellectual Humility. These five episodes explore intellectual humility across two Not Sorry Production podcasts. On Harry Potter & the Sacred Text, the cohosts read three chapters of Harry Potter books through the lens of “intellectual humility,” discussing how that theme is illustrated in the story. In The Real Question, listeners identify places in their lives where they faced significant challenges centering on intellectual humility, then explored possible solutions. Sample episode: Intellectual Humility and Harry Potter: Throughout the Series.

Department of Corrections, by the Left, Right & Center podcast. In these episodes, six innovative thinkers explored a time when they forfeited or dramatically adjusted a deeply held conviction. They walk us through the evolution of the belief and what circumstances brought about a change in that belief, with the show’s hosts commenting on each essay as part of the segment. Sample episode: “Why I Changed My Mind,” Dina Nayeri.

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IH Psychology for Spiritual Growth, by the You Have Permission podcast. Some questions the series explored include: What does it mean to have intellectual humility about religious beliefs? In what way has a lack of intellectual humility contributed to the Evangelical phenomenon in the United States? Could a lack of intellectual humility in pastors correlate to spiritually abusive communities?  Sample episode: Doubt, Intellectual Humility & Uncertainty Tolerance with Dr. Elizabeth Hall.

The Trial of Lt. McFadden, by Snap Judgment. This audio story is about a young Black girl who grew up idolizing the police. After she joined the Columbus police as a new cadet, her career, well-being, and belief in herself were all put to the test by her decision to call out fellow officers and superiors for questionable conduct, sexism, and racism. Her “trial” is about the price she paid for intellectual humility.

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