rachel-louise-carson

Rachel Louise Carson, 1907-1964

Rachel Louise Carson, 1907-1964

Rachel Louise Carson, 1907-1964
Rachel Louise Carson was a marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring (1962) was credited with advancing the environmental movement. Carson was a student of nature, inspired by her natural surroundings of rural Springdale, Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny River. Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the US Bureau of Fisheries, where she wrote 7-minute radio scripts for a segment called “Romance Under the Waters” during the Depression. Carson made science accessible to the general audience; in her book Under the Sea-Wind, Carson wrote about fish feeling fear. Turning to conservation, her book Silent Spring focused on pesticides’ effects on the ecosystem with four chapters detailing its impact on humans, including cancer. Chemical companies sought to discredit Carson as a Communist or hysterical spinster, but Carson had an ally in President John F. Kennedy who created a special advisory committee which studied the questions in Carson’s book and ultimately validated Carson’s research. The book spurred a reversal in pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on pesticides. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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  1. Rachel Louise Carson, 1907-1964
    Rachel Louise Carson was a marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring (1962) was credited with advancing the environmental movement. Carson was a student of nature, inspired by her natural surroundings of rural Springdale, Pennsylvania, and the Allegheny River. Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the US Bureau of Fisheries, where she wrote 7-minute radio scripts for a segment called “Romance Under the Waters” during the Depression. Carson made science accessible to the general audience; in her book Under the Sea-Wind, Carson wrote about fish feeling fear. Turning to conservation, her book Silent Spring focused on pesticides’ effects on the ecosystem with four chapters detailing its impact on humans, including cancer. Chemical companies sought to discredit Carson as a Communist or hysterical spinster, but Carson had an ally in President John F. Kennedy who created a special advisory committee which studied the questions in Carson’s book and ultimately validated Carson’s research. The book spurred a reversal in pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on pesticides. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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