Leigh Dayton

PhD, Science Writer & Broadcaster

Leigh Dayton is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, specialising in the impact of developments in science, technology, environment and medicine on news and current events. For over 25 years, she has worked as a newspaper and magazine reporter and columnist, as well as a radio and television producer and on-air personality.

In November 2017 Leigh received her PhD, as part of the Linkage Cluster in Surgical Innovation, centred at Macquarie University's Philosophy Department. There, she investigated research and innovation pathways in Australia. In her dissertation, "Australia's Quest for the Bionic Eye: Barriers to Innovation", Leigh examined the nation's science system and identified strategies for boosting the success of complex, multi-disciplinary scientific and biomedical projects.

Her PhD research builds on her experience as an award-winning writer and broadcaster, specialising in the impact of developments in science, technology, environment and medicine on news and current events. For over 25 years, she worked as a newspaper and magazine reporter and columnist, as well as a radio and television producer and on-air personality.

As well, Leigh has worked on a freelance basis for scientific organisations, including the Office of the Chief Scientist, the Australian Academy of Science and Science and Technology Australia, as well as for publications such as the US journal Science. As well, Leigh has spoken at international journalism conferences, and continues to chair scientific symposia and events.

Until September 2012, Leigh was the Science Writer for The Australian newspaper where she also wrote for and edited the professionally-oriented Weekend Health section. Prior to moving to The Australian, Leigh provided writing, broadcasting and consulting services through Darkside Media, a business she setup after leaving ABC television's Quantum reporting team in 2001. Her Quantum special "Unearthing Evil" took out Australia's top prize for science journalism in 2001.

Leigh was the Sydney Morning Herald's Science Writer before her two-year stint with Quantum. During her three-and-a-half years with the paper, she won two Daley Prizes for Science Journalism, a Eureka Prize for Environmental Journalism and the NSW Law Society's journalism prize.

Leigh was born and raised in California. After completing a BA honours with distinction in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley, she earned an MA and taught anthropology at the University of Alberta in Canada. She then switched to science journalism. In Canada, Leigh wrote and produced a nationally syndicated radio program, presented by David Suzuki. As well, she was a columnist for the national newspaper The Globe and Mail and Vancouver Correspondent for New Scientist magazine.

Leigh moved to Australia in 1990 where she became Pacific Rim Editor of Omni magazine, Sydney Correspondent for New Scientist, Science Editor of TCN 9's Today Show and Science Correspondent for Tony Delroy's Nightlife on ABC radio, a position she held until Tony retired in 2016. Leigh holds Australian and US citizenship and enjoys reading science fiction before lights out.

Client testimonials

You were great as moderator

University of Melbourne

Gee you were good… I have already recommended you to our committee as an MC/moderator for events they run

Universities Australia