It should come as no surprise that the gifted author of The Sea Around Us and its successors can take another branch of science—that phase of biology indicated by the term ecology—and bring it so The EPA director should read in fact anyone who wants Earth to survive should read. Silent Spring. Rachel Carson. First published by Houghton Mifflin in , Silent Spring alerted a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of indiscriminate use of pesticides, spurring revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water.
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Carson expected criticism, but she did not expect to be personally vilified by the chemical industry and its allies in and out of government. She spent her last years courageously defending the truth of her conclusions until her untimely death in Silent Spring inspired the modern environmental movement, which began in earnest a decade later. To get the best possible experience using our website, we recommend that you upgrade to latest version of this browser or install another web browser.
Margaret Atwood: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, 50 years on | Books | The Guardian
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ACS Scholars Scholarships for underrepresented minority students majoring in undergraduate chemistry-related disciplines. Funding to support the advancement of the chemical sciences through research projects. ACS Travel Award Learn more about travel awards for those attending scientific meetings to present the results of their research. Commemorative Booklet PDF. These discussions led to new policies that protect our air, our water, and, ultimately, our health and safety.
‘Silent Spring & Other Writings’ Review: The Right and Wrong of Rachel Carson
If a civilization is judged by the wisdom of its ways, the 21st century owes considerable gratitude to one woman, Rachel Carson, whose book Silent Spring , published in , revolutionized how people understand their relationship with the natural environment. Specifically, Silent Spring explained how indiscriminate application of agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and other modern chemicals polluted our streams, damaged bird and animal populations, and caused severe medical problems for humans.
But her treatise did much more.
Silent Spring introduced a paradigm shift in how chemists practice their discipline and how society at large relates to science. To understand how radically her book changed the modern mindset, we have to go back to the time between World War II and the late s when Carson first decided to write Silent Spring.
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New technologies flourished during the war as biologists, chemists, physicists, andothers were enlisted to aid the military. After the war, science and industry translated these developments and others into commercial products aimed at improving the quality of life for civilians. DDT 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-di 4-chlorophenyl ethane, also known as dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane is one such example. A potent insecticide, DDT was effective at preventing the spread of typhoid, malaria, and other diseases transmitted by insects, and it saved countless lives during the war.
After the war, the U. Department of Agriculture and corporations promoted DDT and other powerful chemicals to increase domestic productivity and combat a variety of ills.
Carson, who was employed with the U. Fish and Wildlife Service FWS from until as a field scientist and writer, was acutely aware of the policies and practices of the day. In her view, government leaders and industry were eager to create sweeping change, but advanced new technologies without knowing the full implications of their decisions.