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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7:40am

Thu August 7, 2014
Research News

Are Terminal Illness Decisions Affected By Negative Stereotypes?

Originally published on Thu August 7, 2014 8:09 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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6:25am

Wed August 6, 2014
Research News

Employers Forced To Judge Job Candidates' Career Trajectory

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 7:45 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

5:00am

Mon July 28, 2014
Shots - Health News

Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 1:52 pm

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.

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7:39am

Thu July 24, 2014
NPR Story

As Millions Of People Fast For Ramadan, Does The Economy Suffer?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

6:26am

Fri July 18, 2014
Research News

When It Comes To Thinking, 2 Fish Heads Are Better Than 1

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 11:52 am

Maybe we can learn from fish — they don't call a group of them a school for nothing. Researchers found that when 2 fish swim together, they make better decisions than when 2 fish are swimming alone.

3:30am

Tue July 15, 2014
Shots - Health News

When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:13 am

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.

Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.

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5:01am

Tue July 8, 2014
Research News

Some Parole Requirements Could Be Increasing The Crime Rate

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:51 am

Prisoners who are released invariably make it back to the areas where they came from. Does this have a positive or negative effect on crime? Research triggered by Hurricane Katrina offers insight.

6:38pm

Wed July 2, 2014
All Tech Considered

20 Thoughts On Facebook's News Feed Experiment Apology

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:25 pm

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has apologized for an experiment that manipulated more than 600,000 users' news feeds in 2012.
Frank Franklin II AP

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has apologized over an experiment that manipulated more than 600,000 users' news feeds in 2012. Are we upset at the findings of the study, or upset that the study was done without our consent? And do we necessarily realize all of the studies performed on us every day?

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5:09am

Tue July 1, 2014
Research News

Safety Feature For Pedestrians Has Undesired Consequence

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 2:24 pm

New analysis finds that the countdown clocks telling pedestrians how much time they have to cross the intersection actually increase traffic crashes.

7:10am

Thu June 26, 2014
Research News

How To Sell Green Products To The Self-Regarding Consumer

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:40 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When consumers think about green products, they often face a dilemma - that car that uses less gasoline or a more efficient refrigerator tends to cost more. Buyers have to choose whether money is more important to them than public good. Now new research shows there might be a way to boost interest in these products, at least among a core group of consumers. NPR social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to talk with us about that. Hi Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi Steve.

INSKEEP: What consumers?

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