Shankar Vedantam Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR.
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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.

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Rates of "summer melt" are highest for students from lower-income backgrounds, especially if their own parents didn't go through the college application process. Hill Street Studios/Getty Images/Blend Images hide caption

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Summer Melt: Why Aren't Students Showing Up For College?

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"Nostalgia is memory with the pain removed." - Jim Holliday Gpointstudio/Getty Images/Cultura RF hide caption

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Looking Back: Reflecting On The Past To Understand The Present

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Clicker Training For Dogs Is Adapted To Help Surgeons Learn Quickly

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Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus: Why and How We Eat

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What The Controversy Over Facebook's Privacy Policy Reveals About The Company And Us

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The clicker became a popular tool for dog training in the 1980s. Today, it has also caught on with humans — helping people to become better dancers, fishermen, golfers, and now, surgeons. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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When Everything Clicks: The Power Of Judgment-Free Learning

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Admit It, Parents: You Play Favorites With The Kids

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Want your kid to succeed? Don't try so hard. sturti/Getty Images hide caption

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The Carpenter Vs. The Gardener: Two Models Of Modern Parenting

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After a long history of civil war and corruption, many Liberians didn't trust their government's attempts to control Ebola. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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Don't Panic! What We Can Learn From Chaos

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Laura Ogden, Jack Hannan, and Dr. Jones the dog. Courtesy of Laura Ogden hide caption

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Rewinding & Rewriting: The Alternate Universes in Our Heads

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Radio Replay: This Is Your Brain On Ads

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The Surprising Benefit Of Moving And Grooving With Your Kid

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Researchers say when a baby is babbling, he's primed to learn. Petri Oeschger/Getty Images hide caption

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Baby Talk: Decoding The Secret Language Of Babies

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Olutosin Oduwole at his home in New Jersey in 2016. Shankar Vedantam /NPR hide caption

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Rap on Trial: How An Aspiring Musician's Words Led To Prison Time

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