Sharon Begley was a 1987 alumna of the MBL’s Logan Science Journalism Program.
By Eric Boodman
Trying to write a lede about the loss of Sharon Begley feels a little like being asked to sing a song at Aretha Franklin’s grave. Sharon would have hated that sentence. She didn’t settle for similes that needed qualifying. She got things exactly right. No matter what she was writing about — genome editing or Alzheimer’s, dinosaurs or the death of Lady Di — she was a master, drawing you in and keeping you riveted. Her journalism was as rigorous as any peer-reviewed journal (and sometimes more so), but also vivid, funny, and fast-paced. Yet she had none of the ego you might expect in someone so brilliant. She was a virtuoso who didn’t act like one. She didn’t want to be fussed over.
Fussed over she was, though. Over the course of her 43-year-career, at Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and STAT, from the glory days of print magazines to the Twitter-crazed news cycles of 2020, she won more awards and accolades than could fit in an obituary. The accomplishments she was prouder of were making complex ideas accessible to anyone — and beautiful — through her articles and books, and in doing so, training and inspiring generations of science journalists. Read more …