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
3:58 am
Mon May 18, 2015

How TV Show Finales Affect The Stock Market

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 8:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So what happens now now that "Mad Men" is over? This is a real question that researchers have studied, and NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam is here to tell us about it. Hi, Shankar.

SHANKAR VEDANTAM, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

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Research News
5:01 am
Tue May 12, 2015

What Might Make Young People Practice Safe Sex? Lottery Tickets!

In a study in Lesotho, the prospect of earning a cash prize in a lottery motivated young people to practice safe sex.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 8:13 am

Let's say you're a young person, around 30 years old. And you're the kind of person who likes to take risks. So maybe you're taking risks in your sexual relationships. You're not practicing safe sex.

What would make you change your behavior?

That's a question that's long been pondered by public health officials. And now new research from a World Bank-funded team in Lesotho, a tiny country in southern Africa, has produced a surprising answer.

Lottery tickets!

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Research News
4:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Blame Cognitive Biases When Efforts To Conserve Water Aren't Effective

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 1:32 pm

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Research News
4:24 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Why Handsome Men May Be At A Disadvantage When It Comes To Hiring

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 6:49 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Research News
4:08 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Why Is Condom-Use Suddenly Dropping Among College Sophomores?

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 7:28 pm

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Research News
4:14 am
Tue March 24, 2015

How Money Managers' Personal Lives Affect Your Investments

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 9:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Humans
4:14 am
Wed March 18, 2015

The Dangerous Distractions Of Spring Break

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:23 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

March Madness is upon us and also for many college students spring break. On that subject, there's new research that might give some students and their parents something to think about. NPR's Shankar Vedantam joined our colleague David Greene to tell us about it.

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Research News
5:21 am
Wed February 25, 2015

How Peer Pressure May Encourage Tax Delinquents To Pay Up

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:33 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And when it comes to collecting taxes, some new research explores the power of peer pressure. NPR's Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly on this program to tell us about interesting social science research. This week, he spoke with Steve Inskeep.

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Research News
5:21 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Angry Tweets Predict Patterns Of Heart Disease, Researchers Say

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 6:48 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Research News
4:28 am
Thu February 12, 2015

How Removing Checkpoints Could Make Israelis More Secure

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:33 pm

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Research News
5:04 am
Wed February 4, 2015

The Psychology Behind Why Some Kids Go Unvaccinated

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 6:40 am

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Research News
5:34 am
Tue February 3, 2015

Why We Judge Algorithmic Mistakes More Harshly Than Human Mistakes

Originally published on Tue February 3, 2015 11:27 am

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Research News
4:31 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Companies Wanting Immediate Sales Should Pass On Super Bowl Ads

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 8:50 pm

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Research News
5:20 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Bilingual Studies Reveal Flaw In How Info Reaches Mainstream

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 1:55 pm

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Research News
4:03 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Why NFL Teams Should Reconsider Giving Coaches The Heave-Ho

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 7:14 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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