Gary Knight/VII/Gary Knight/VII
Shankar Vedantam
Gary Knight/VII/Gary Knight/VII

Shankar Vedantam

Correspondent, Science Desk

Shankar Vedantam is NPR's social science correspondent and the host of the Hidden Brain podcast. The focus of his reporting is on human behavior and the social sciences, and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways.

Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post. Vedantam writes an occasional column for Slate called "Hidden Brain."

Throughout his career, Vedantam has been recognized with many journalism honors including awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, and the American Public Health Association.

In 2009-2010, Vedantam served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He participated in the 2005 Templeton-Cambridge Fellowship on Science and Religion, the 2003-2004 World Health Organization Journalism Fellowship, and the 2002-2003 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship.

Vedantam is the author of the non-fiction book, The Hidden Brain: How our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives. The book, published in 2010, described how unconscious biases influence people.

Outside of journalism, Vedantam has written fiction and plays. His short story-collection, The Ghosts of Kashmir, was published in 2005. The previous year, the Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia produced his full-length, comedy play, Tom, Dick and Harriet.

Vedantam has served as a lecturer at many academic institutions including Harvard University and Columbia University. In 2010, he completed a two year-term as a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. Since 2006, he has served on the advisory board of the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowships in Science & Religion.

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A Stabbing, A Possible Ebola Outbreak, And A 'Time Bomb'

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What Food Stamps And Drunk Driving Stats Have To Do With Each Other

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In Praise Of Mess: Why Disorder May Be Good For Us

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Researchers Explore The Struggle Of Recognizing Faces

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Senior Citizens Study: How Money Makes For Better Brain Functioning

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Some People Are Great At Recognizing Faces. Others...Not So Much

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Feelings Toward A Partner Affect Brand Buying Decisions, Study Says

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The broken windows theory of policing suggested that cleaning up the visible signs of disorder — like graffiti, loitering, panhandling and prostitution — would prevent more serious crime as well. Getty Images/Image Source hide caption

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How 'Broken Windows' Helped Shape Tensions Between Police And Communities

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Polls, pundits, politicians and journalists mostly predicted the outcome of this election incorrectly. How did they get it so wrong? Allan Lichtman says the answer to this question gets at what's wrong with politics in America. John Locher/AP hide caption

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John Locher/AP

What Happened? How Pollsters, Pundits And Politics Got It Wrong

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How Contestants' Social Security Numbers Could Affect 'Jeopardy' Wagers

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The broken windows theory of policing suggested that cleaning up the visible signs of disorder — like graffiti, loitering, panhandling and prostitution — would prevent more serious crime as well. Getty Images/Image Source hide caption

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Getty Images/Image Source

How A Theory Of Crime And Policing Was Born, And Went Terribly Wrong

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The Social Science Research Behind Political Campaign Ads

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Our culture has long expected that women will be kind, and leaders will be authoritative. So what's a female leader to do when she confronts these conflicting stereotypes? Gary Waters/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Gary Waters/Getty Images/Ikon Images

'Double Bind' Explains The Dearth Of Women In Top Leadership Positions

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Sociologist Brooke Harrington says that for the world's wealthiest people, many of the laws and rules followed by the rest of us simply don't apply. Adam Gault/Getty Images hide caption

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What's It Like To Be Rich? Ask The People Who Manage Billionaires' Money

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