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Jennifer Schmidt, photographed for NPR, 13 November 2019, in Washington DC.

Jennifer Schmidt

Jennifer Schmidt is a senior producer for Hidden Brain. She is responsible for crafting the complex stories that are told on the show. She researches, writes, gathers field tape, and develops story structures. Some highlights of her work on Hidden Brain include episodes about the causes of the #MeToo movement, how diversity drives creativity, and the complex psychology of addiction.

Since joining NPR in January 2014, Schmidt has also worked as an editor on Morning Edition and All Things Considered. She has put together pieces for various news desks, including a story about survivor goats from the California wildfires for NPR's health blog Shots and a piece on a new trend in C-sections in which women can watch their babies being born which aired on Morning Edition.

The recipient of numerous journalism awards, Schmidt has been awarded a PRNDI for feature reporting, a National Headliners award for breaking news, a silver CINDY, an EMMA for editing, and various other awards from the RTNDA, the Associated Press, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

Schmidt's reporting has taken her across both the country and the world, from KPLU in Seattle and WBUR in Boston to freelancing in South Africa and Mexico. After living abroad for almost a decade, Schmidt now lives on a small farm near the Chesapeake Bay with a menagerie of animals including a one-eyed cat from South Africa, chickens, horses, two dogs from Mexico City, and goats.

Schmidt graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.S. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

  • We all know the downsides of being poor. But what about the downsides of being rich? This week, we explore the psychology of scarcity...and excess.
  • Decades ago, a group of women accused a prominent playwright of sexual misconduct. For the most part, the complaints went nowhere. In 2017, more women came forward. This time, people listened.
  • This week on Hidden Brain's radio show, we tackle a big topic: power. From our conflicted feelings toward the powerful, to the ways we gain and lose power ourselves, and how power can corrupt.
  • Violent crimes committed by Muslims are much more likely to be reported as "terrorism." And that has disturbing consequences for the way Muslims are perceived.
  • A culture of racism can infect us all. On this week's radio show, we discuss the implicit biases we carry that have been forged by the society around us.
  • Young people have always used language in new ways, and it has always driven older people crazy. But the linguist John McWhorter says all the LOLs are part of an inevitable evolution of language.
  • In Liberia, a team of epidemiologists have to delay a criminal investigation, look the other way on illegal drug use and build trust to stop an outbreak of Ebola.
  • Pollsters across the ideological spectrum predicted Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. They got it wrong. But one man did not: historian Allan Lichtman.
  • Most scientists agree, climate change is perhaps the most serious issue facing our planet today. And yet, it's uniquely difficult for us to wrap our heads around. Hidden Brain explores why.
  • A century after women won the vote in the U.S., we still see very few of them in leadership roles. Researchers say women are trapped in a catch-22 known as "the double bind."