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

shorrocks/Getty Images

How Can Schools Better Persuade Students To Show Up For Class?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/667285010/667285011" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Camila Vargas-Restrepo/NPR

Zipcode Destiny: The Persistent Power Of Place And Education

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/666993130/667132512" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Social Stigma Is One Reason The Opioid Crisis Is Hard To Confront

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/662009650/662436301" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Patrick Semansky/AP

Life, Death And The Lazarus Drug: Confronting America's Opioid Crisis

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/661011560/661880464" 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/658449559/659598038" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

2 Towns: Guess Which 1 Is Liberal And Which Is Conservative

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/657724971/657724972" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/657547685/657563754" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

What role does biology play in our politics? More than you might think, according to political scientist John Hibbing. Angela Hsieh hide caption

toggle caption
Angela Hsieh

Nature, Nurture And Your Politics

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/654127241/654127903" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Why More Men Don't Get Into The Field Of Nursing

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/653570048/653570049" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In a study conducted by psychologist Jennifer Bosson, some men reported that ordering a drink with a cocktail umbrella felt like a gender violation. Parth Shah hide caption

toggle caption
Parth Shah

'Man Up': How A Fear Of Appearing Feminine Restricts Men, And Affects Us All

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/653339162/653437372" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jana Mestecky (left) poses for a cast photo during production of the play Des rats et des hommes, directed by Israel Horovitz (front, third from left). The photo appeared in the French magazine, L'Avant-Scène, Courtesy of Jana Mestecky hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Jana Mestecky

The Psychological Forces Behind A Cultural Reckoning: Understanding #MeToo

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/650452841/650462555" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Christie's exhibition space in King Street, London, United Kingdom. Exhibition of impressionists artworks in June 2014. Lionel Derimais/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Lionel Derimais/Getty Images

Researchers Explore Gender Disparities In The Art World

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/649060336/649060337" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Why are some warnings heard, while others are ignored? Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Angela Hsieh/NPR

The Cassandra Curse: Why We Heed Some Warnings, And Ignore Others

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/648781756/648858751" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript