Shankar Vedantam Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR.
Douglas Sonders/NPR
Shankar Vedantam 2017
Douglas Sonders/NPR

Shankar Vedantam

Correspondent, Science Desk

Shankar Vedantam is NPR's social science correspondent and the host of Hidden Brain. 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.

[+] read more[-] less

Story Archive

Getty Images

Nostalgia Isn't Just A Fixation On The Past - It Can Be About The Future, Too

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/558055384/558182723" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

How much does biology shape who we are, and how much is determined by culture and the environment in which we live? Renee Klahr/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Renee Klahr/NPR

Nature, Nurture, And Our Evolving Debates About Gender

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/556116385/556698274" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Joel Addams/Getty Images/Aurora Creative

Researchers Explore Pornography's Effect On Long-Term Relationships

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/556606108/556606109" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
David Becker/Getty Images

Classifying Attacks: Mental Illness Or Terrorism?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/555796306/555796307" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Renee Klahr/NPR

Can A Child Be Raised Free Of Gender Stereotypes? This Family Tried

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/555180786/555188393" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Bernhard Lang/Getty Images

The Pitfalls Of Social Media Advertising

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/554424193/554424194" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Today's college students aren't necessarily having more sex than previous generations, but the culture that permeates hookups on campus has changed. Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Peterson/Corbis via Getty Images

Hookup Culture: The Unspoken Rules Of Sex On College Campuses

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/552582404/553776318" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Powerful Storms Make For Compelling Stories, But Can Cause Mental Health Stress

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/552708139/552708140" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

Examining Links Between Academic Performance And Food Stamps

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/552530614/552530615" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

How The Minimum Wage Affects Restaurant Hygiene

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/550607377/550607378" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Hong Li/Getty Images

Why We Can't Shake Life's 'Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda' Moments

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/550260750/553782067" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
NurPhoto/Getty Images

Study Looks At How People Think About Free Speech

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/549373754/549373755" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
NurPhoto/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How President Trump's Rhetoric Is Changing The Way Americans Talk

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/548471325/553797909" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Are you feeling stuck? Scroll down to take our quiz and find out whether you have a "gravity" problem. Renee Klahr/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Renee Klahr/NPR

You 2.0: How Silicon Valley Can Help You Get Unstuck

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/546716951/554107960" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript