Sharon Begley, widely known for her ability to break down complex scientific theories and write about them in simple prose, returned to Newsweek in March 2007 from the Wall Street Journal, where she wrote the "Science Journal" column for five years. In her new capacity at Newsweek, she writes a bi-weekly column, essays and cover stories as well as contributing to Newsweek.com.
She won a first place award from NYABJ for her "How Your Brain Looks at Race" column and won The Genesis Award for Outstanding Written Word for "The Extinction Trade." The award, given by the Humane Society of the United States, recognizes artists, writers, entertainers and journalists who contribute their time and talent to raise awareness of the plight and suffering of animals. Begley's "We Fought Cancer and Cancer Won" is a 2009 finalist for a National Magazine Award in the Public Interest category.
Before leaving NEWSWEEK, Begley had been a senior editor since December 1996. She had been a senior writer for Newsweek's science coverage since January 1990. She joined the magazine as an editorial assistant in Science in 1977, and was promoted to assistant editor in January 1979, associate editor in 1980 and then general editor in 1983. During her career at Newsweek, Begley wrote a myriad of cover stories. And she wrote another one, after being back at the magazine just two weeks, "The Evolution Revolution" (3/19/07).
Begley has received numerous awards for her work. In 2006, she won the American Aging Association Media Award for a series of columns on Alzheimer's disease; in 2005, she won the Public Understanding of Science Award from the Exploratorium, the science museum in San Francisco and a Clarion Award from the Association for Women in Communications for her "Science Journal" column. In 2004, Begley received a Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for Contributions to the public understanding of science from the University of North Carolina.
Begley earned a B.A. from Yale University. She is the co-author of the 2002 book, "The Mind and the Brain," and the author of the 2007 book "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain." She and her husband live in Pelham, New York with their two children.