Lyndal Byford

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Lyndal Byford (née Gully) is a former employee of the Science Media Centre in London, UK. She is now part time Media Manager at the Australian Science Media Centre.[1]

"Dr" Lyndal Byford at a RiAus discussion 'Science Behind the Headlines', 2012.



Byford has an Honours degree in Biotechnology from Flinders University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Science Communication from Australian National University.[2]


Shell Questacon Science Circus

After completing her undergraduate, Byford worked for the Shell Questacon Science Circus which 'promoted science throughout regional Australia'.[1] Costing $AUD 1.9million per year (2011-2013), the 'Science Circus' is 47% funded by Shell. As the company itself notes, 'The value of establishment costs, national and international reputation, brand exposure, capital value, years of program develop and logistic expertise has not been quantified but is significant.'[3]

Pharmaceutical industry

After completing her Postgraduate Diploma, Byford 'went on to work at a range of science museums and as a specialist representative within the pharmaceutical industry'.[1]

Grant Museum of Zoology

Byford moved to the UK in 2005, where she began work co-ordinating education programs for the Grant Museum of Zoology at University College London.[1]

Science Media Centre

Byford (then Gully) joined the UK Science Media Centre as Engineering Press Officer in May 2006.[4]

Australian Science Media Centre

In November 2007 Byford returned to Australia. She is now part time Media Manager at the Australian Science Media Centre.[1] In early 2011 she took maternity leave and was replaced for a year by Edward Sykes from the UK Science Media Centre.[5] As AusSMC put it, 'In keeping with the strong sense of a developing international SMC community, AusSMC managed to second Ed Sykes from the London-based Science Media Centre to replace Lyndal Byford who took maternity leave in February'.[6]

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Inspiring Australia’s Science

Lyndal was also a member of Inspiring Australia’s Science.[2]

Media Expert working group

Byford sat on the Media Expert working group for the Federal Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.[2]

Views on science communication

Response to criticisms of AusSMC briefing on GM crops

In anticipation of a ban on GM crops being lifted in Victoria, Australia, the Australian Science Media Centre organised a media conference with chief scientist Gustav Nossal and three other scientists to brief journalists on 'Which concerns [about GM food crops] are the most justified? Which risks can be managed and which can’t?' Responding to criticisms from Greenpeace that event was comprised of scientists who had campaigned in support of lifting the ban, Byford responded in an email to Crikey magazine:

There was no attempt to line up a panel with a particular GM viewpoint … [but] if scientists on the panel are more likely to end up arguing with each other rather than answering journalists’ questions, then there is a good chance that the science (that either side is trying to communicate) will be lost in the story.[7]

On the role of Science Media Centres

In an interview for 'The BIG Science Communication Summit', Byford discusses working at the Australian SMC:

[W]e look at a lot of press releases from journals, we’ll contact universities to see what’s coming out that week, and we do a lot of work really trying to give the media a sort of heads up in scanning everything that’s coming out in science and really picking out the things that we think are likely to be the most interesting or relevant or useful for them. And part of that involves: is it Australian? Or, you know, does it have an Australian involved? We do a lot of that, but then there might be a breaking news story, like the fertilizer plant explosion or something like that that happens, and then it’s really all hands on deck and we drop everything trying to quickly find out who are the best experts and who can comment and who’s ready and willing and able to get out there and help the media on those sorts of stories.[8]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 AusSMC (2013), Staff, accessed 18 September 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists (2013), Keynote & CES Presenter, accessed 18 September 2013
  3. Shell, Shell Questacon Science Circus, accessed 18 September 2013
  4. Data from Internet Archive holdings of the Science Media Centre website, 2007, accessed 18 September 2013
  5. AusSMC (2001), Annual Review July 2010 - June 2011, p14, accessed 18 September 2013
  6. AusSMC (2001), Annual Review July 2010 - June 2011, p3, accessed 18 September 2013
  7. Katherine Wilson (2008), Victoria gets ready to lift GM crop ban, Crikey, accessed 18 September 2013
  8. The BIG Science Communication Summit (2010), #Interview – Lyndal Byford – the Australian Science Media Centre at #bigsci13, accessed 18 September 2013