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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7:33am

Mon November 24, 2014
Research News

How Real Estate Markets May Affect The Birth Rate

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:02 pm

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All right. Our colleague Steve Inskeep recently sat down with NPR's Shankar Vedantam. Shankar joins us regularly to talk about social science research. This time the conversation was about having babies.

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5:06am

Tue November 18, 2014
Research News

Invasive Surgery May Motivate Patients To Adopt Healthier Behaviors

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:24 am

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5:07am

Tue November 11, 2014
Research News

Study Shows Long-Term Benefits Of Welfare Program

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 1:12 pm

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3:30am

Wed November 5, 2014
Goats and Soda

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

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 4:14 pm

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

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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4:36am

Mon October 27, 2014
Research News

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

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 7:32 am

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5:21am

Thu October 23, 2014
Science

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

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:51 am

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3:19am

Mon October 13, 2014
Code Switch

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

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 9:42 am

And so continues Code Switch's battle with illustrating studies about the subtle biases that inflict our email outboxes.
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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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5:04am

Thu October 9, 2014
Research News

Research May Give Potential Homicide Victims A Heads Up

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

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5:06am

Tue September 30, 2014
Research News

Certain English Errors May Decipher Clues To Dying Languages

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

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5:05am

Wed September 24, 2014
Research News

Why Some Federal Agencies Panic This Time Of Year

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

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