Shankar Vedantam
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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The Myth Of Coincidences And Why We Search For Their Meaning

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Research Explains The Bias Behind Slow-Motion Video Replay

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A woman wins the lottery not once, not twice, but four times. What are the odds? According to mathematician Joseph Mazur, it depends on how you ask the question. Amy Sancetta/AP hide caption

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Amy Sancetta/AP

Magic, or Math? The Appeal of Coincidences, and The Reality

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Can An Airline Affect The Direction Of Science?

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How Risk Affects The Way People Think About Their Health

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Democrats and Republicans often have trouble seeing one another's perspectives. Researchers think this might be driven in part by their earliest experience of power — the family. Mark Airs/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Mark Airs/Getty Images/Ikon Images

When It Comes To Our Politics, Family Matters

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Social Science Researchers Explore 'Unethical Amnesia'

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Want To Make Better Predictions? Researchers Explore How

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Researchers Test The Effects Of Background Music On People

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Do You Read Terms Of Service Contracts? Not Many Do, Research Shows

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Dan Gilbert says we're not great at predicting how much we will enjoy an experience in part because we fail to consider all of the details. We think a visit to the dentist will be terrible — but we're forgetting about the free toothbrush, the nice chat with the dental hygienist, and the magazines in the waiting room. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images hide caption

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You vs. Future You; Or Why We're Bad At Predicting Our Own Happiness

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Research Examines If Surgery Delays Affect Patients' Health Outcome

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Why High-Income Households Benefit More From Product Innovations

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Researchers Study Effects Of Social Media On Young Minds

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