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Shankar Vedantam, former NPR science desk correspondent, to speak at BYU

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jan 24, 2022

Courtesy Brigham Young University

Journalist and author Shankar Vedantam will speak at BYU on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.

Shankar Vedantam, science correspondent, journalist, and author, will speak at Brigham Young University on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to noon.

Vedantam’s presentation is entitled “The Science of the Beloved Community: The Psychological Genius of Non-Violence.”

Vedantam was National Public Radio’s social science correspondent from 2011 to 2020 and was previously a reporter and columnist for The Washington Post, writing “The Department of Human Behavior” column. Vedantam also served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

During Vedantam’s career as a journalist, he was honored with 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.

Vedantam is the creator and host of the “Hidden Brain” podcast, which explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and questions that lie at the heart of our complex and changing world, according to hiddenbrain.org. The podcast receives over 3 million downloads per week and has recently centered on topics like “What Makes Relationships Thrive” and “Changing Behavior, Not Beliefs.”

Vedantam has written multiple books and plays. His earlier works include “The Ghosts of Kashmir,” a collection of short stories about the conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, and the comedic play “Tom, Dick and Harriet,” which was produced by the Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia.

Vedantam’s later works include “The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives,” a nonfiction New York Times best-selling book that discusses recent findings in neuroscience, behavioral science and psychology that influence human behavior, and “Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain,” which Vedantam co-authored with Bill Mesler in 2021.

Vedantam’s presentation will take place in BYU’s Marriott Center and, per Vedantem’s request, attendees must present proof of vaccination before entering the venue and wear masks for the entirety of the event.

Vedantam’s address will not be broadcasted on BYUtv or BYUradio, but a live broadcast will be available in the Joseph Smith Building auditorium.

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