NEW YORK, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Sharon Begley is returning to Newsweek from The Wall Street Journal, where she has written the "Science Journal" column for the last five years. And Julia Baird, the opinion editor and columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald, will become Newsweek's Senior Editor for science, Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham announced Wednesday. Begley returns as a senior editor and will write a bi-weekly column, essays and cover stories as well as contributing to Newsweek.com. The author of the just-published "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain," Begley has won numerous awards and received, in 2004, an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of North Carolina. "Sharon is the country's most intelligent and important voice when it comes to the ever-expanding world of science, whether the topic is the human genome, the brain, space, dinosaurs, physics-anything, really, that involves the empirical and philosophical," Meacham wrote in a memo to the staff. "With sophistication, grace, and a commitment to reporting, she brings the essential but often impenetrable universe of science alive, and her field of expertise is vital to us." Baird served as the Sydney Morning Herald's education reporter before becoming opinion editor. In 2005 she was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press and Public Policy at Harvard, researching the global response to American opinion in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Her PhD, on female politicians and the press, was awarded in 2001, and her book on the subject was published in 2004. Baird has also taught history (20th century cultural history and personal narratives, involving the study of letters, diaries and journals), made radio documentaries on subjects as diverse as black metal music and convent education, and has been a widely sought-after commentator on television and radio. In 2006 she was also the host of the investigative radio program "Sunday Profile" on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "I am confident that Julia's wide-ranging intelligence, editorial instincts and great good humor will serve us very well in a critical post," Meacham wrote.