Shankar Vedantam Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR.
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Shankar Vedantam 2017
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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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An American Secret: The Untold Story Of Native American Enslavement

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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

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Radio Replay: Crime As A Disease

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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

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

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Pavlovian Conditioning And Marriage

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

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

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Study: CEOs Who Invest In Social Responsibility Initiatives Risk Their Jobs

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On October 30, 1935, a Boeing plane known as the "flying fortress" crashed during a military demonstration in Ohio — shocking the aviation industry and prompting questions about the future of flight. National Archives hide caption

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National Archives

The Trick To Surviving A High-Stakes, High-Pressure Job? Try A Checklist

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Shankar Vedantam, NPR's social science correspondent and host of the Hidden Brain podcast, explains why some of us are really good at recognizing faces and others are not. John Lamb/Getty Images hide caption

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We're Not As Good At Remembering Faces As We Think We Are

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Bad-Mouthing Opponents Likely Spurs Them On To Win, Research Shows

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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

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Nature, Nurture, And Our Evolving Debates About Gender

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Researchers Explore Pornography's Effect On Long-Term Relationships

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Classifying Attacks: Mental Illness Or Terrorism?

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