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Silent Spring

American biologist well known for her writings on environmental issues. Carson’s prophetic Silent Spring (1962) became a best seller, creating worldwide awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution...

Silent Spring
Silent Spring

Time & Location

Sep 05, 2023, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center, 195 W Main St, Cedaredge, CO 81413, USA

About the Event

Brought to you by the Grand Mesa Arts & Events Center, Blue Sage Center for the Arts, and Delta County Libraries

Rachel Carson was born in 1907 in the rural town of Springdale, Pennsylvania. Inspired by the natural world around her and encouraged by her mother, she studied zoology and became a science writer, first for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and later for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She went on to write popular books about nature. In her books Under the Sea Wind, The Sea Around Us, and The Edge of the Sea, Carson described the interconnectedness of living things and the environment.

As noted by her biographer Linda Lear, “Embedded within all of Carson's writing was the view that human beings were but one part of nature distinguished primarily by their power to alter it, in some cases irreversibly.”1

When the pesticide DDT became available for non-military use in 1945, few people questioned the wisdom of using something capable of killing off so many different species. As reported by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rachel Carson was one of those few.2 For years, she researched the effects of DDT on the environment and proposed writing scientific articles on the topic for various magazines but was always turned down--despite the popularity of her previous writing. Finally, in 1958, Carson began writing a book based on her DDT research. Four years later, she completed Silent Spring, which became her best-known work. Silent Spring caused understandable alarm among readers, and controversy from the pesticide industry. But Carson’s work had been vetted by scientific experts and was later verified by President John F. Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee. Through all of her writing but especially due to Silent Spring, Rachel Carson is often credited with launching the modern environmental movement.

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