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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3:31am

Tue June 3, 2014
Research News

Research: Americans Less Fearful Of Storms With Female Names

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 8:02 am

A new analysis suggests unconscious sexism causes people to take hurricanes with female names less seriously than hurricanes with male names.

3:05pm

Fri May 30, 2014
Humans

What's In A Grunt — Or A Sigh, Or A Sob? Depends On Where You Hear It

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 5:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR news this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Hear a laugh, you know someone's happy. Hear a sob, you know someone is sad. Or are they? It's been thought that no matter where you live in the world, people express emotions using the same repertoire of sounds. But NPR's social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantam, reports on new research on how emotions are expressed and understood around the globe.

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4:40am

Wed May 28, 2014
Research News

Research: Children Of Judges May Influence Court Decisions

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 10:57 am

It's been suspected that judges are swayed by their personal beliefs and affiliations. An analysis found that judges become more likely to rule in "pro-feminist" ways if the judges have daughters.

3:22am

Wed May 21, 2014
Research News

Mating Rituals: Why Certain Risky Behaviors Can Make You Look Hot

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 7:29 am

Social science research suggests risky behavior such as braving heights or swimming in deep waters increases your sex appeal. Driving without a seat belt? Not so much.

4:36am

Mon May 19, 2014
Research News

Why Reporting On Scientific Research May Warp Findings

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Next we're going to report on scientific research, in particular on the way that reporting on scientific research might actually warp the findings. Scientists face pressure to publish new discoveries, which in turn might influence what they study, and that, of course, is not necessarily a good thing. There's work being published today that's part of an effort to fix this problem. NPR's Shankar Vendantam joined our colleague, Steve Inskeep, to talk about it.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Shankar, welcome back.

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