Originally broadcast at 7 p.m. ET Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Science journalist Shankar Vedantam is the host and creator of “Hidden Brain,” one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Vedantam’s new book, Useful Delusions: The Power & Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain, will be the subject of a special Chautauqua Lecture Series presentation on CHQ Assembly on Thursday, May 6. The CHQ Assembly program will also serve as a preview of the 2021 Chautauqua Lecture Series week of programming on “The Human Brain: Our Greatest Mystery,” which runs Aug. 14-21.
The “Hidden Brain” podcast receives more than 3 million downloads per week, and the “Hidden Brain” radio show is featured on more than 350 public radio stations around the United States. Vedantam and “Hidden Brain” have been recognized with the Edward R. Murrow Award and numerous other honors.
Vedantam was National Public Radio’s social science correspondent between 2011 and 2020, and he 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. From 2009 to 2010, Vedantam served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain, published in 2021, is an exploration of deception’s role in human success. Vedantam is also the author of The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives, which describes how unconscious biases influence people.
About Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue. CHQ Assembly is the online expression of Chautauqua Institution's mission.