Dr. Pamela L. Gay

Dr Pamela Gay is an astronomer, writer, and podcaster focused on using new media to engage people in science and technology. Her most well known project may be Astronomy Cast, a podcast she co-hosts with Fraser Cain (Producer of Universe Today). Each week, she and Fraser work to take their listeners on a facts-based journey through the cosmos that explores not only what we know about the universe, but how we know it. They are know entering their eleventh year of production, and thanks to the constant new discoveries coming out of the space science communities, they have no plans to stop recording any time soon.

Getting people to learn science with Astronomy Cast is only half of the challenge. Dr. Gay wants people to both learn and do science, and toward this end, she founded the CosmoQuest virtual research facility. This second generation citizen science site is designed to provide the public with opportunities to participate in NASA-related science programs, while also giving them access to online seminars, star parties, classes and more.

In addition to podcasting and getting people doing science, she also works to communicate astronomy to the public through her blog (starstryder.com), through frequent public talks, and through popular articles. Her writing has appeared in Astronomy, Sky and Telescope, Lightspeed, and Mothership Zeta magazines, and she's had the chance to appear on TV shows like The Universe.

A public school kid through and through, she received a B.S. in Astrophysics from Michigan State University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Texas in 2002. Today, she work for the Astronomical Society of the Pacific as their director of technology and citizen science, and she is the principal investigator of CosmoQuest. Although her first research love was and remains variable stars, she has committed scientific adultery more than once to use her technology skills to explore the secrets of galaxy evolution, and planetary surface geology. Today, along with her astronomy science research, she also focuses her efforts on trying to understand why people engage in science in their spare time.