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

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

toggle caption
sturti/Getty Images/Vetta

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

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/569907638/570000858" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Imagezoo/Getty Images/Imagezoo

How Labels Can Affect People's Personalities And Potential

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/569983801/569983802" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Don Lowry's con unfolded very slowly over two decades. When it was finally exposed, some of the victims defended the people who had been fooling them. They preferred to believe the lie. Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Emily Bogle/NPR

Radio Replay: Loving the Lie

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/569381298/569381733" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Courtesy of Pottermore.com

What Can A Personality Test Tell Us About Who We Are?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/568365431/568470232" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Sean Murphy/Getty Images

How Birth Order Relates To Job Success

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/567688882/567688883" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

By 1495, Christopher Columbus was in trouble. The riches he had imagined finding in Asia were not materializing in the New World, and the costs of his voyages were mounting. Sending indigenous people back to Europe as slaves became his solution. Heritage Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Heritage Images/Getty Images

An American Secret: The Untold Story Of Native American Enslavement

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/565410514/565537165" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The program BAM (Becoming a Man) works with teenagers and uses cognitive behavior therapy to reduce violence in Chicago. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Radio Replay: Crime As A Disease

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562692875/564710461" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Researchers Explore The Effects Of Section 8 Grants In Houston

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/564006483/564006484" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Think you can get away with fewer than eight hours of sleep per night? Neuroscientist Matthew Walker says — think again. Sophie Blackall/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

toggle caption
Sophie Blackall/Getty Images/Ikon Images

The "Swiss Army Knife" Of Health: A Good Night's Sleep

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/563831137/563902649" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jeffrey Coolidge/Getty Images

Pavlovian Conditioning And Marriage

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562721444/562721445" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Do we really need sleep? Mark Conlan/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

toggle caption
Mark Conlan/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Eleven Days Without Sleep: The Haunting Effects Of A Record-Breaking Stunt

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/562305141/562419796" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript