A free webinar for members on the value of engaging with the media as researchers, with guest speaker Tom Sheldon, Senior Press Manager at the UK’s Science Media Centre and Chaired by Dr Lindsay Broadbent, University of Surrey.

Please note this event is designed to illustrate the value of researchers and scientists engaging with the media – it is not formal media training.


  • Dr Lindsay Broadbent (University of Surrey), Chair
  • Tom Sheldon, Senior Press Manager, Science Media Centre, Speaker
  • Charlotte Mitchell, Associate Director Communications, Brand and Audiences, Microbiology Society and Clare Baker, Communications and Media Officer





11:00 –11:10 Welcome from the Chair Dr Lindsay Broadbent (University of Surrey, UK)
11:10 –11:45 Engaging with the media as researchers Tom Sheldon (Senior Press Manager at the Science Media Centre, UK)
11:45 –12:15 Q&A with Tom Sheldon and Dr Lindsay Broadbent – members can submit questions in advance at or ask live at the event

Tom Sheldon (Senior Press Manager at the Science Media Centre, UK) and Dr Lindsay Broadbent (University of Surrey, UK)

12:15 – 12:20 How to work with the Society to engage with the media Charlotte Mitchell (Associate Director Communications, Brand and Audiences at the  Microbiology Society, UK) and Clare Baker (Communications and Media Officer at the Microbiology Society, UK)
12:20 – 12:30 Closing remarks from the Chair Dr Lindsay Broadbent (University of Surrey, UK)
Submit your question in advance for the Q&A with Tom Sheldon and Dr Lindsay Broadbent:





Speaker profiles

Dr Lindsay Broadbent is a lecturer in virology at the University of Surrey. Her work focuses on respiratory viruses and the innate immune system. She has been involved with science outreach and communication from the start of her PhD. As a STEM Ambassador in Belfast, she was involved with school career events, science festivals and even a bit of science-themed stand-up comedy with Bright Club. In 2019 Lindsay was involved with organising an event called ‘Belfast on the Brink’ as part of the Northern Ireland (NI) Science Festival. The event simulated the outbreak of an unknown virus and how different disciplines of science and healthcare would have to work together to counter the threat of a pandemic. A year later, journalists and producers started to get in touch about the real situation of an emerging virus and the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. Lindsay has now been involved in hundreds of media appearances from newspaper interviews to radio to live TV news interviews.

Tom Sheldon is Senior Press Manager at the Science Media Centre (SMC), an independent press office for science.  It exists to help ensure that science and engineering in the UK national news is reported accurately and responsibly, particularly when a story has the potential for controversy.  The team at the SMC give journalists the opportunity to speak to real experts, and actively encourage scientists to provide written quotes on new research and breaking stories.  They also run regular press briefings, which allow scientists and engineers to set the news agenda on important subjects of public interest.  Tom has degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics and he joined the Science Media Centre in 2008.  His talk will focus on some key stories from the last few years where scientists have been essential to accurate, evidence-based reporting.  He will use examples to illustrate the work of the SMC and explain how experts can make a vital difference when they're on hand to engage with journalists – and what can go wrong when they don't.