Rachel Carson

Biologist / Writer

Born: 27 May 1907
Died: 14 April 1964 (cancer)
Birthplace: Springdale, Pennsylvania
Best known as: The author of Silent Spring

Rachel Carson wrote the groundbreaking ecological book Silent Spring. Rachel Carson earned her bachelor's degree in biology at the Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) in 1929, then earned a master's degree in zoology from Johns Hopkins in 1932. She began working for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries as a writer and bureaucrat, while at the same time writing popular science articles for magazines. In 1941 she published Under the Sea-Wind, the first in a series of books about the ocean. She became widely known as a scientist with a flair for writing. She turned her attention to the "indiscriminate" use of pesticides, and her 1962 book Silent Spring set off a national controversy by suggesting that maybe all the poison being used on forests and crops should be tested more and evaluated differently. Pilloried at the time for being a "bunny hugger," Carson was a major influence on the ecological and conservation movements of the late 20th century.

Extra credit:

Rachel Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter on June 9, 1980… The Rachel Carson Prize is an international environmental award established in Norway in 1991. It is given once every two years “to a woman who has distinguished herself in outstanding work for the environment in Norway or internationally”… Google honored Rachel Carson with a Google Doodle on May 27, 2014.

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