Sharon Begley: Remembering a Top-Flight Science Journalist

In a final note to our readers, Sharon Begley, our longtime science columnist, told us to “never stop wondering.”

Sharon Begley, our longtime science columnist, died of cancer on January 16, 2021, at age 64. Our thoughts and good wishes go out to her family and her wide circle of colleagues, for whom she was an exemplar of the highest standards of the journalistic profession.

Sharon holds a special place in our hearts here at Mindful. In our formative days, she was the first person to agree to a regular column, at which point we danced a little jig. She has appeared in every issue since. No one else holds that distinction. She was also always a pleasure to work with. She never missed a single deadline and was unfailingly collegial and flexible as we worked through suggested changes. We called her column “Brain Science,” but Sharon’s pieces went far beyond the brain alone to cover all facets of human behavior. She was a top-flight science journalist who probed deep questions without fear or favor—setting a high bar for our research reporting. In her unstinting commitment to evidence, Sharon gave our magazine starch and protein: content that could stick to the ribs. We will miss her. I know you, the readers, will miss her. And yet, her legacy of enthusiastic curiosity and endless investigation and inquiry will live on. She has baked it into Mindful’s DNA. 

“How Mindfulness Shifts Our Perception of Time” was Sharon’s final column for Mindful. In an accompanying note to our readers she said, “I will always be grateful to founding editor Barry Boyce for inviting me to explore with you the mysteries of how and why we think, feel, and act as we do, and am grateful for your thoughtful feedback. Never stop wondering.”

Brain science

Science

How Much Self-Knowledge is Too Much? 

Sharon Begley explores the science of self-insight and the research on how much you should know about yourself before it becomes detrimental to your health. Read More 

  • Sharon Begley
  • May 18, 2020
Science

The Science of the Bystander Effect 

Writer Sharon Begley explores the research on why decent people will watch someone in trouble, possibly even film it, rather than step up to help. Read More 

  • Sharon Begley
  • March 12, 2020