Dr Fiona Lethbridge is a Senior Press Manager at the Science Media Centre (SMC), where she has been working since 2012, when she started as Press Office Assistant. Before that, she did a PhD in Evolutionary Biology at the University of Edinburgh. The SMC is an independent press office working with the scientific community and the UK national news media, and believes that scientists can have a huge impact on the way the media cover scientific issues by engaging more quickly and more effectively with the stories that are influencing public debate and attitudes to science.
The SMC’s objective is to try and ensure media coverage of science is as accurate, measured, and evidence-based as possible. The SMC works on topics that are big news or controversial, such as genetically modified organisms, diet, climate change, statins, e-cigarettes, and antidepressants. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SMC ran around 250 press conferences and issued written comments from scientists on around 1,800 new Covid studies or breaking news developments.