Shankar Vedantam

Shankar Vedantam is a science correspondent for NPR. 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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Research News
4:20 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Research Examines Character Concerns Versus Performance In The NFL

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:31 am

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National Security
4:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

What Is Torture? Our Beliefs Depend In Part On Who's Doing It.

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:13 am

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Research News
4:05 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Search For Political Common Ground Is Difficult, Research Shows

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 11:12 am

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Thanksgiving - a day to gather with relatives around the dinner table, engage in conversations, like this one...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) I know how you feel.

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Research News
4:06 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Invasive Surgery May Motivate Patients To Adopt Healthier Behaviors

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:24 am

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Research News
4:07 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Study Shows Long-Term Benefits Of Welfare Program

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 5:54 am

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Goats and Soda
2:30 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Why Your Brain Wants To Help One Child In Need — But Not Millions

Saah Exco was found alone on a beach in Liberia's West Point slum, naked and abandoned and likely an Ebola victim.Research suggests the story of one needy individual motivates charitable donors more than statistics about millions of sufferers.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 3:14 pm

Why do people sometimes give generously to a cause — and other times give nothing at all?

That's a timely question, because humanitarian groups fighting the Ebola outbreak need donations from people in rich countries. But some groups say they're getting less money than they'd expect from donors despite all the news.

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Research News
3:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Fear Of Blowing Big Calls May Affect How Umpires Do Their Jobs

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 6:32 am

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Science
4:14 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Is There Really Such A Thing As A 'Trophy Wife'?

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 7:51 am

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Code Switch
2:19 am
Mon October 13, 2014

What's In A Name? It Could Matter If You're Writing To Your Lawmaker

And so continues Code Switch's battle with illustrating studies about the subtle biases that inflict our email outboxes.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:42 am

In recent years, social scientists have tried to find out whether important decisions are shaped by subtle biases. They've studied recruiters as they decide whom to hire. They've studied teachers, deciding which students to help at school. And they've studied doctors, figuring out what treatments to give patients. Now, researchers have trained their attention on a new group of influential people — state legislators.

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Research News
4:04 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Research May Give Potential Homicide Victims A Heads Up

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 8:13 am

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