Sharon Begley is an American journalist, senior science writer for Stat, columnist, author, and speaker at universities and gatherings of both professional and community organizations.
We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too.
Imagine that while you are sleeping, a cleaning crew gets into your brain to clean out all the toxins so that your brain works better the next day. I know it sounds weird but it is exactly what happens. Listen as I begin this episode with that explanation. great breakthrough ideas fail first and then get modified before they became a success. It often happens multiple times. Being open to learning from those early failures and being able to adapt your ideas is what helps make ideas prosper according to Safi Bahcall. Safi is a physicist and biotech entrepreneur and author of the book, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases and Transform Industries ( Listen as Safi offers insight and great examples of how important inventions and breakthroughs have happened by learning from failure and how we all can do it. Often the reason you get upset or stressed out is because things aren’t the way you think they SHOULD be… Traffic should not be so heavy, your doctor should not keep you waiting – that type of thing. Listen as I explore how to change that thinking to relieve yourself of unnecessary frustration. I think of compulsive behavior, I think of people who wash their hands a lot or check to see if they locked the door or turned off the coffee pot 50 times a day. While that seems to be extreme compulsive behavior, how is it any different than checking your smart phone 86 times a day? (That's the average). Science writer Sharon Begley has explored this in her book Just Can’t Stop: An Investigation of Compulsion ( She joins me to reveal why compulsive behavior isn’t necessarily bad and explains at what point it does become a problem and what to do about it. This Week’s Sponsors-ADT. To get a secure smart home designed just for you go to Get help with a counselor you will love at For 60% off your first order plus a free bag of dog treats go to For $10 off your first order (while supplies last) go to To find the best software for your business visit One. What's in your wallet? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sharon Begley joins us for our last show of the year to look back over some of the year’s top stories. She’s the senior science writer at STAT News where she covers genetics, cancer, neuroscience and other fields of biomedical research. Prior to joining STAT, Sharon was the senior health and science correspondent at Reuters, the science columnist at the Wall Street Journal, and the science editor at Newsweek.
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Creator Details

Jun 14th, 1956
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
1 hour, 30 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 726355