When someone cancels on you, you have to think on your feet. Which is exactly what WGLZ DJ Paul McKay had to do. As his intended interview was unable to make it, Paul choose to interview a local teacher and scientist about her recent work in the study of pulsars. Wheeling Middle School science teacher and Paul’s mother, Deborah McKay, was delighted to come to the WGLZ studio to discuss her work in the field of pulsar research.
Deborah McKay only first became aware of the existence of pulsars when she attended a special event at the Green Bank Observatory in downstate West Virginia. She went on to explain that pulsars are very dense neutron stars spinning at mind boggling speeds, sending waves, or pulses, out into the universe that we can read and study with the use of radio telescopes. During their conversation, Deborah told Paul about how the study of pulsars actually helps us map the observable universe as these pulsars serve almost as “lighthouses” for the cosmos.
Ever since her first experience at the Green Bank Observatory, Debroah McKay has remained very active in the study of pulsars. She has gone back to the Green Bank Observatory and was recently invited to a national conference taking place in Hawaii.
To end the conversation, Deborah said it has been true in the past that women in science fields have to work harder than men, but she thinks that is changing. She went on to say that if you are a women interested in entering a scientific career, to just study and read as much as you can. Deborah is a firm believer in shooting for the stars, which is perhaps why she now studies them.