Early on life and education
Rachel Carson was born on May 27, 1907, on a family farm near Springdale, Pennsylvania, just up the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh. She was the daughter of Maria Frazier (McLean) and Robert Warden Carson, an insurance salesman. She spent a lot of time exploring around her family’s 65-acre (26 ha) farm. An av
On the Pennsylvania College for Women (today known as Chatham University), just as high school, Carson was to some extent of a loner. She originally studied British, but turned her major to biology in January 1928, although she continued contributing to the school’s college student newspaper and literary dietary supplement. Although admitted to graduate ranking at Johns Hopkins College or university in 1928, she was forced to remain at the Pennsylvania College for females for her senior year as a result of financial difficulties; she graduatedmagna ejaculate laudein 1929. After having a summer training course at the Marine Biological Lab, she continuing her studies in zoology and genes at Johns Hopkins inside the fall of 1929.
Following her first year of graduate institution, Carson started to be a part-time student, acquiring an assistantship in Raymond Pearl’s clinical, where the girl worked with rodents andDrosophila, to earn money pertaining to tuition. After false depends on pit vipers and squirrels, she completed a feuille project within the embryonic advancement the pronephros in seafood. She received a master’s degree in zoology in June 1932. She acquired intended to continue for a doctorate, but in 1934 Carson was forced to keep Johns Hopkins to search for a full-time educating position to aid support her family throughout the Great Depression. In 1935, her dad died instantly, worsening their particular already essential financial situation and leaving Carson to take care of her aging mother. With the urging of her undergraduate biology advisor Mary Scott Skinker, she settled for a temporary position with the U. S. Bureau of The fishing industry, writing a radio station copy for a series of weekly educational messages entitledLove Under the Oceans. The series of 52 seven-minute programs focused on marine life and was intended to generate open public interest in seafood biology in addition to the work of the bureau, a job the several freelance writers before Carson had not handled. Carson as well began submitting articles upon marine life in the Chesapeake Gulf, based on her research to get the series, to local newspapers and magazines.
Carson’s supervisor, happy with the success of radio stations series, asked her to write down the summary of a public brochure regarding the fisheries bureau; this individual also worked well to secure her the first full-time situation that came out. Sitting to get the municipal service test, she outscored all other people and, in 1936, started to be the second girl hired by Bureau of Fisheries for the full-time professional position, being a junior aquatic biologist.
Thirteen years later on, in 1958, Carson’s interest in writing about the risks of DDT was rekindled when the lady received a letter via a friend in Massachusetts bemoaning the large bird kills that had occurred on Hat Cod since the result of DDT sprayings. The pesticide experienced proliferated tremendously since 1945, and Carson again tried out, unsuccessfully, to interest a magazine in assigning her the story of its fewer desirable effects. By 1958, Carson was obviously a best-selling creator, and the fact that she could hardly obtain a great assignment to write down about DDT is indicative of how heretical and controversial her views on the subject must have seemed. Having already gathered a large volume of research about them, however , Carson decided to go forward and deal with the issue in a book.
Noiseless Springhad taken Carson 4 years to complete. That meticulously described how DDT entered the meals chain and accumulated inside the fatty tissue of pets, including individuals, and brought on cancer and genetic damage. A single software on a plant, she wrote, killed pesky insects for several weeks and monthsnot only the targeted insects nevertheless countless moreand remained harmful in the environment even after it was diluted by rain. Carson figured DDT and also other pesticides experienced irrevocably damaged animals together contaminated the world’s food supply. The book’s most haunting and popular chapter, A Fable pertaining to Tomorrow, depicted a nameless American town where all lifefrom fish to birds to apple blossoms to human being childrenhad recently been silenced by the insidious associated with DDT.
Initially serialized inThe New Yorkerin June 1962, the book alarmed readers around America and, not surprisingly, brought a howl of indignation from the chemical industry. If man would have been to faithfully follow the teachings of Miss Carson, complained an business of the American Cyanamid Firm, we will return to the Dark Age ranges, and the insects and conditions and vermin would again inherit the earth. Monsanto published and distributed 5, 000 clones of a brochure parodyingMuted Springpermitted The Desolate Year, relating the devastation and inconvenience of any world in which famine, disease, and pesky insects ran absence because chemical pesticides was banned. A number of the attacks were more personal, questioning Carson’s integrity as well as her sanity.
Early profession and guides
On the U. H. Bureau of Fisheries, Carson’s main responsibilities were to examine and statement field info on fish populations, and to write pamphlets and other literature for people. Using her research and consultations with marine biologists as starting points, in addition, she wrote a reliable stream of articles to getThe Baltimore Sunand other newspapers. Yet , her relatives responsibilities additional increased in January 1937 when her older sibling died, going out of Carson since the sole breadwinner for her mom and two nieces.
In July 1937, theAtlantic Monthlyaccepted a revised version of an essay,The field of Waters, that your woman originally wrote for her initially fisheries bureau brochure. Her supervisor experienced deemed it too great for that purpose. The dissertation, published becauseUndersea, was a viv >Carson attempted to leave the Bureau (by then transformed into the United States Seafood and Animals Service) in 1945, but couple of jobs pertaining to naturalists were available, because so many money to get science was focused on specialized fields inside the wake from the Manhattan Task. In meters
Carson rose within the Fish and Wildlife Service, by 1945 supervising a small writing staff and in 1949 becoming chief editor of publications. Though her position prov
Oxford University Press expressed interest in Carson’s book proposal for a life history of the ocean, spurring her to complete by early 1950 the manuscript of what would becomeThe Sea Around Us. Chapters appeared inScience DigestandThe Yale Reviewthe latter chapter, The Birth of an Island, winning the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s George Westinghouse Science Writing Prize. Nine chapters were serialized inThe New Yorkerbeginning June 1951 and the book was published July 2, 1951, by Oxford University Press.The Sea Around Usremained on The New York Times Best Seller list for 86 weeks, was abr >and the John Burroughs Medal, and resulted in Carson’s being awarded two honorary doctorates. She also licensed a documentary film based on it.The Sea‘s success led to the republication ofUnder the Sea Wind, which became a bestseller itself. With success came financial security, and in 1952 Carson was able to give up her job in order to concentrate on writing full-time.
Carson was inundated with speaking engagements, fan mail and other correspondence regardingThe Sea Around Us, along with work on the script that she had secured the right to review. She was very unhappy with the final version of the script by writer, director and producer Irwin Allen; she found it untrue to the atmosphere of the book and scientifically embarrassing, describing it as a cross between a believe-it-or-not and a breezy travelogue. She discovered, however, that her right to review the script d
The Edge of the Seaand transition to conservation work
Early in 1953, Carson began library and field research on the ecology and organisms of the Atlantic shore. In 1955, she completed the third volume of her sea trilogy,The Edge of the Sea, which focuses on life in coastal ecosystems, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard. It appeared inThe New Yorkerin two condensed installments shortly before its October 26 book release by Houghton Mifflin (again a new publisher). By this time, Carson’s reputation for clear and poetical prose was well established;The Edge of the Seareceived highly favorable reviews, if not quite as enthusiastic as forThe Sea Around Us.
Through 1955 and 1956, Carson worked on a number of projectsincluding the script for anOmnibusepisode, Something About the Skyand wrote articles for popular magazines. Her plan for the next book was to address evolution, but the publication of Julian Huxley’sEvolution in Actionand her own difficulty in finding a clear and compelling approach to the topicled her to abandon the project. Instead, her interests were turning to conservation. She cons
In early 1957, a family tragedy struck for a third time when one of her nieces she had cared for since the 1940s died at the age of 31, leaving her 5-year-old son, Roger Christie an orphan. Carson took on the responsibility of Roger Christie when she adopted him, alongside caring for her aging mother. Carson moved to Silver Spring, Maryland to care for Roger, and much of 1957 was spent putting together a new living situation and studying on specific environmental threats
By late 1957, Carson was closely following federal proposals for w >For the rest of her life, Carson’s main professional focus would be the dangers of pesticide overuse.
As biographer Mark Hamilton Lytle writes, Carson quite self-consciously dec
Carson’s main argument is that pestic >About DDT and cancer, the main topic of so much succeeding debate, Carson says only a little:
In laboratory tests on animal subjects, DDT has produced suspicious liver tumors. Scientists of the Food and Drug Administration who reported the discovery of these tumors were uncertain how to
Carson predicted increased consequences in the future, especially as targeted pests develop pestic
With regards to the pesticide DDT, Carson by no means actually needed an outright ban. Part of the argument she made inNoiseless Springwas that even if DDT and other insecticides hadnot anyenvironmental unwanted effects, their indiscriminate overuse was counter-productive as it would create insect resistance to the pesticide(s), making the pesticides useless in reducing the target insect populations:
No responsible person contends that insect-borne disease should be ignored. The question that has now urgently presented itself is whether it is either wise or responsible to attack the problem by methods that are rap
Carson further noted that Malaria programmes are threatened by resistance among mosquitoes and emphasized the advice given by the director of Holland’s Plant Protection Service: Practical advice should be ‘Spray as little as you possibly can’ rather than ‘Spray to the limit of your capacity’ . Pressure on the pest population should always be as slight as possible.
Crystal Bell, Holbrook Middle School, Holden
When you look out into the forest, what do you see? A green grass meadow? A dark and foreboding place full of death and horror? What I see is a peaceful place teeming with life. Through the darkness comes light, and through death comes the rebirth, for everything in nature needs every other creature. Like an endless circle that includes everything, nature has an invaluable beauty that will last forever if preserved.
Throughout her life, it seems that Rachel Carson stayed true to her words, and that nature provided her with the strength to keep going. The feats Rachel Carson accomplished were amazing: going to college, teaching a zoology class at Maryland University, becoming a science writer, and successfully writing two best-sellers; she was stupendous, especially because she was born in the early 1900’s, a time when women were valued less than men. She must have found much in nature that provided her with the power to continue and reach her goals regardless of all the social pressures she faced.
Sometimes, when everything seems to be moving listlessly, there is only one answer. The peace and serenity of a quiet walk through the forest, or the tranquility of a kayaking trip to the middle of the lake might just aid your return to the path on which your life is destined to travel. Rather than make nature a foe and look at all of its qualities that we don’t like, why not make nature an ally? Through destroying nature, we are destroying ourselves, and not just in the sense that everything is connected and harm and impairment will return to us, but instead in the way that we depend upon nature’s constant supply of exquisite splendor to clear our minds and refresh our patience.
Nature cannot be replaced, for anything man-made would be too predictable, too banal. It is those diminutive elements, unexpected and delightful, that give nature its character. We are such a little part of this world, just a fragment of the Earth and its history, just a miniature piece of nature’s cycle. Do we have the right to change those conditions? Most creatures live in a world unlike the one we see, not even knowing of our existence. What would we be without nature? Nature is the basis of our existence. We are a leaf on the tree of life, and it’s giving us the nourishment to live, thrive, and develop into something much bigger and better than our existence today. Consider this carefully, for if you are uncertain, nature is waiting to inspire and is just a glance away.
Drake Janes, Adams School, Castine
When I contemplate the beauty of earth, it fulfills me in many ways. It makes me feel that I have a purpose in this world, even when I am seeking to find what that means exactly. It gives me strength to see earth how it is supposed to be seen. It makes me, as a human, more responsible and more alive, and I appreciate my surroundings that much more.
In Castine, we are a unique, historical coastal town, and if it were not for a causeway, we would be considered an island. Sometimes I go biking in Witherle Woods, a local reserve, filled with secret stories from the past. I have witnessed untraveled trails, stonewalls, abandoned remnants, steep cliffs, and radiant sunsets, which cause me to pause and ponder. In these moments, I often contemplate the mysterious beauty, which surrounds me here. My worries go away and I gather strength during these experiences. I believe that these images become life-long memories and it is why Rachel Carson’s quote means so much to me.
Like Castine, but many miles away, is a tropical island much warmer than Maine! When I visited the Bahamas recently, I saw turquoise water, and felt the warm, white sand, and I thought that life couldn’t get any better than that. While I was on a golf cart ride, I soaked up every little blade of grass and tree that I saw; I was so focused on the surrounding nature, that it became hard to pay attention to anything elseit was that beautiful! I am amazed at earth’s creations, so vast and different, and what an impact this has on me personally.
I might not know exactly what my purpose is in life yet, but I do know that I appreciate the beauty of the earth. When I watched the movieSilent Springin class, I was immediately impressed to learn about Rachel Carson. She believed that earth has a purpose, but it is our responsibility to find the beauty within it and respect it for what it is. Within my community, I’ve come to appreciate our authentic 1800’s schoolhouse, the magic of the woods, the beauty of the rocky shores, and the eagles and osprey that fly overhead! This is our beautiful earthhere in our little town of Castine or miles away in tropical Bahamasand it will continue to provide me with strength as I strive to find meaning and purpose.
Nick Prato, Frank Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth
In nature, nothing exists alone.
Nature. The vast, perplexing world that is always hopping with life. From the trees in our backyard, to the waving grass on a prairie, nature will always exist. As a whole, that is. All the trees, the sun, the dirt, the plants, the animals, and everything else on the planet, depend on each other, including human beings. There can’t be only one tree, or only one flower. It wouldn’t be there without all the elements of nature. They are all interconnected. Nature, in my opinion, is like a piece of music.
A piece of music is made up of multiple notes. High notes, low notes, and notes in between. Long notes, short notes, and notes in between. Loud notes, quiet notes, and notes in between. Quiet to loud, and loud to quiet, but all the different types of notes have one thing in common. When they work together, they create a song, or even a symphony, which could never be created with only one note. If one note is taken off the piece of music, it affects the entire piece.
In nature, nothing exists alone. Those are Rachel Carson’s words on her observation that everything you do has an effect somewhere else. One thing can’t live by itself because it is interconnected to everything else. It needs support, but it also gives it. For example, the DDT pesticide situation. People thought that getting rid of all the bad bugs in the environment would be a good thing. Little did they know, something that was powerful enough to get rid of all the bad bugs had to have an effect somewhere else. It affected the life cycle of the singing birds, which was a message that it affected other organisms in the surrounding environment. Rachel Carson then had the intelligence and the courage to bring this topic to light in Silent Spring in such a way, that it reached many people, which was something no one had ever done before. I believe that the silence of the birds was a sign. It was a sign that what they were doing was killing the bugs, but also affecting other organisms in the environment, including human beings. In nature, nothing exists alone. We all breathe the same air, we all drink the same water, we all live in the same nature.
Nature is our symphony. Everything needs to be there for it to sound its best. All the notes need to be there, working together, in order for it to be its best. Taking out one part of the symphony will affect the entire piece. Just like the environment, killing the bugs with DDT affected more than just the bugs. Rachel Carson understood and tried to relay this message of interdependence in nature. In nature, nothing exists alone. Everything is interconnected. Just like a piece of music.
Things go out of kilter
Carson was happiest writing about the strength and resilience of natural systems. Her booksUnder the Sea Wind, The Sea Around Us(which stayed on theNew York Timesbest-seller list for 86 weeks), andThe Edge of the Seawere hymns to the interconnectedness of nature and all living things. Although she rarely used the term, Carson held an ecological view of nature, describing in precise yet poetic language the complex web of life that linked mollusks to seabirds to the fish swimming in the ocean’s deepest and most inaccessible reaches.
DDT, the most powerful pesticide the world had ever known, exposed nature’s vulnerability. Unlike most pesticides, whose effectiveness is limited to destroying one or two types of insects, DDT was capable of killing hundreds of different kinds at once. Developed in 1939, it first distinguished itself during World War II, clearing South Pacific islands of malaria-causing insects for U.S. troops while being used as an effective delousing powder in Europe. Its inventor was awarded the Nobel Prize.
When DDT became available for civilian use in 1945, there were only a few people who expressed second thoughts about this new miracle compound. One was nature writer Edwin Way Teale, who warned, A spray as indiscriminate as DDT can upset the economy of nature as much as a revolution upsets social economy. Ninety percent of all insects are good, and if they are killed, things go out of kilter right away. Another was Carson, who wrote toReader’s Digestto propose an article about a series of tests on DDT being conducted not far from where she lived in Maryland. The magazine rejected the idea.
Collected papers and posthumous publications
Carson bequeathed her manuscripts and papers to Yale University, to take advantage of the new state-of-the-art preservations facilities of the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Her longtime agent and literary executor Marie Rodell spent nearly two years organizing and cataloging Carson’s papers and correspondence, distributing all the letters to their senders so that only what each correspondent approved would be submitted to the archive.
In 1965, Rodell arranged for the publication of an essay Carson had intended to expand into a book:A Sense of Wonder. The essay, which was combined with photographs by Charles Pratt and others, exhorts parents to help their children experience the . lasting pleasures of contact with the natural world . available to anyone who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.
In addition to the letters inAlways Rachel, in 1998 a volume of Carson’s previously unpublished work was published asLost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson, edited by Linda Lear. All of Carson’s books remain in print.
Promotion and reception
Carson and the others involved with publication ofSilent Springexpected fierce criticism. They were particularly concerned about the possibility of being sued for libel. Carson was also undergoing radiation therapy to combat her spreading cancer, and expected to have little energy to devote to defending her work and responding to critics. In preparation for the anticipated attacks, Carson and her agent attempted to amass as many prominent supporters as possible before the book’s release.
Most of the book’s scientific chapters were reviewed by scientists with relevant expertise, among whom Carson found strong support. Carson attended the White House Conference on Conservation in May 1962; Houghton Mifflin distributed proof copies ofSilent Springto many of the delegates, and promoted the upcomingNew Yorkerserialization. Among many others, Carson also sent a proof copy to Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas, a longtime environmental advocate who had argued against the court’s rejection of the Long Island pestic
ThoughSilent Springhad generated a fairly high level of interest based on prepublication promotion, this became much more intense with the serialization inThe New Yorker, which began in the June 16, 1962, issue. This brought the book to the attention of the chemical industry and its lobbyists, as well as a w >Other publicity included a positive editorial inThe New York Timesand excerpts of the serialized version inAudubonmagazine, with another round of publicity in July and August as chemical companies responded. The story of the birth defect-causing drug thal
In the weeks leading up to the September 27, 1962, publication, there was strong opposition toSilent Springfrom the chemical industry. DuPont (a main manufacturer of DDT and 2,4-D) and Velsicol Chemical Corporation (exclusive manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlor) were among the first to respond. DuPont compiled an extensive report on the book’s press coverage and estimated impact on public opinion. Velsicol threatened legal action against Houghton Mifflin as well asThe New YorkerandAudubonunless the plannedSilent Springfeatures were canceled. Chemical industry representatives and lobbyists also lodged a range of nonspecific complaints, some anonymously. Chemical companies and associated organizations produced a number of their own brochures and articles promoting and defending pestic
American Cyanam >According to White-Stevens, If man were to follow the teachings of Miss Carson, we would return to the Dark Ages, and the insects and diseases and vermin would once again inherit the earth. Others went further, attacking Carson’s scientific credentials (because her training was in marine biology rather than biochemistry) and her personal character. White-Stevens labeled her . a fanatic defender of the cult of the balance of nature, while former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, in a letter to former Pres
Many critics repeatedly asserted that she was calling for the elimination of all pestic >In fact, she concludes her section on DDT inSilent Springnot by urging a total ban, but with advice for spraying as little as possible to limit the development of resistance.
The academic community, including prominent defenders such as H. J. Muller, Loren Eiseley, Clarence Cottam, and Frank Egler, by and large backed the book’s scientific claims; public opinion soon turned Carson’s way as well. The chemical industry campaign backfired, as the controversy greatly increased public awareness of potential pestic >Reactions from the estimated audience of ten to fifteen million were overwhelmingly positive, and the program spurred a congressional review of pestic >Within a year or so of publication, the attacks on the book and on Carson had largely lost momentum.
In one of her last public appearances, Carson testified before Pres >Following the report’s release, she also testified ahead of a United States Senate subcommittee to make policy suggestions. Though Carson received a huge selection of other speaking invitations, your woman was not able to accept almost all of them. Her health was steadily suffering as her cancer outpaced the radiation therapy, with just brief durations of remission. She talked as much as she was literally able, nevertheless , including a notable appearance aboutThe Today Showand speeches for several dinners held in her honor. At the end of 1963, your woman received a flurry of awards and honors: the Audubon Medal (from the National Audubon Society), the Cullum Geographical Medal (from the American Geographical Society), and inauguration ? introduction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
A variety of groups ranging from government institutions to environmental and conservation organizations to scholarly societies have celebrated Carson’s life and work since her death. Perhaps most significantly, on June 9, 1980, Carson was awarded the Pres >In 1973, Carson was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
The University of California, Santa Cruz, named one of its colleges (formerly known as College Eight) to Rachel Carson College in 2016. Rachel Carson College is the first college at the University to bear a woman’s name.
Carson’s birthplace and childhood home in Springdale, Pennsylvania, now known as the Rachel Carson Homestead, became a National Register of Historic Places site and the non-profit Rachel Carson Homestead Association was created in 1975 to manage it. Her home in Colesville, Maryland where she wroteSilent Springwas named a National Historic Landmark in 1991. Near Pittsburgh, a 35.7 miles (57 km) hiking trail, called the Rachel Carson Trail and maintained by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, was dedicated to Carson in 1975. A Pittsburgh br >The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection State Office Building in Harrisburg is named in her honor. Elementary schools in Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, Maryland, Sammamish, Washington and San Jose, California were named in her honor, as were m >and Herndon, Virginia (Rachel Carson M
Two research vessels have sailed in the United States bearing the name R/VRachel Carson. One is on the west coast, owned by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), and the other is on the east coast, operated by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Another vessel of the name, now scrapped, was a former naval vessel obtained and converted by the United States EPA. it operated on the Great Lakes. The Flor
The ceremonial auditorium on the third floor of EPA headquarters, the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building, is named after Rachel Carson. The Rachel Carson Room is close to the EPA Administrator’s office and has been the site of numerous important announcements, including the Clean Air Interstate Rule.
A number of conservation areas have been named for Carson as well. Between 1964 and 1990, 650 acres (263 ha) near Brookeville in Montgomery County, Maryland were acquired and set as >In 1969, the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge became the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge; expansions will bring the size of the refuge to about 9,125 acres (3,693 ha). In 1985, North Carolina renamed one of its estuarine reserves in honor of Carson, in Beaufort.
Carson is also a frequent namesake for prizes awarded by philanthropic, educational and scholarly institutions. The Rachel Carson Prize, founded in Stavanger, Norway in 1991, is awarded to women who have made a contribution in the field of environmental protection. The American Society for Environmental History has awarded the Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation since 1993. Since 1998, the Society for Social Studies of Science has awarded an annual Rachel Carson Book Prize for a book length work of social or political relevance in the area of science and technology studies. The Society of Environmental Journalists gives an annual award and two honourable mentions for books on environmental issues in Carson’s name, such as was awarded to Joe Roman’sListed: Dispatches from America’s Endangered Species Actin 2012.
TheRachel Carsonsculpture in Woods Hole, Massachusetts was unveiled on July 14, 2013. Google created a Google Doodle for Carson’s 107th birthday on May 27, 2014. Carson was featured during the HerStory v >from the band’s 1991 albumAchtung Baby.
Grassroots environmentalism and the EPA
Carson’s work had a powerful impact on the environmental movement.Silent Spring, in particular, was a rallying point for the fledgling social movement in the 1960s. According to environmental engineer and Carson scholar H. Patricia Hynes, Silent Springaltered the balance of power in the world. No one since would be able to sell pollution as the necessary unders >Carson’s work, and the activism it inspired, are at least partly responsible for the deep ecology movement, and the overall strength of the grassroots environmental movement since the 1960s. It was also influential on the rise of ecofeminism and on many feminist scientists.
While there remains no ev >Attacks on Carson’s credibility included criticism of her credentials in which she was labeled an amateur and it was sa >Ecofeminist scholars argue that not only was the dissenting rhetoric gendered to paint Carson as hysterical, but was done because her arguments challenged the capitalist production of large agri-business corporations. Others, such as Yaakov Garb, suggest that in addition to not being a women’s rights activist, Carson also had no anti-capitalist agenda and that such attacks were unwarranted. Additionally, the way photos of Carson were used to portray her are often questioned because of few representations of her engaging in work typical of a scientist, but instead, of her leisure activities.
Carson’s most direct legacy in the environmental movement was the campaign to ban the use of DDT in the United States (and related efforts to ban or limit its use throughout the world). Though environmental concerns about DDT had been cons
The creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by the Nixon Administration in 1970 addressed another concern that Carson had brought to light. Until then, the same agency (the USDA) was responsible both for regulating pestic
In the 1980s, the policies of the Reagan Administration emphasized economic growth, rolling back many of the environmental policies adopted in response to Carson and her work.
Silent Spring, Carson’s best-known book, was published by Houghton Mifflin on 27 September 1962. The book described the harmful effects of pestic >Carson was not the first, or the only person to raise concerns about DDT, but her combination of scientific knowledge and poetic writing reached a broad audience and helped to focus opposition to DDT use. In 1994, an edition ofSilent Springwas published with an introduction written by Vice Pres >In 2012Silent Springwas designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society for its role in the development of the modern environmental movement.
Relationship with Dorothy Freeman
Carson first met Dorothy Freeman in the summer of 1953 in Southport Island, Maine. Freeman had written to Carson welcoming her to the area when she had heard that the famous author was to become her neighbor. It was the beginning of an extremely close friendship that would last the rest of Carson’s life. Their relationship was conducted mainly through letters, and during summers spent together in Maine. Over the course of 12 years, they would exchange somewhere in the region of 900 letters. Many of these were published in the bookAlways, Rachel, published in 1995 by Beacon Press.
Carson’s biographer, Linda J. Lear, writes that Carson sorely needed a devoted friend and kindred spirit who would listen to her without advising and accept her wholly, the writer as well as the woman. She found this in Freeman. The two women had a number of common interests, nature chief among them, and began exchanging letters regularly while apart. They would share summers for the remainder of Carson’s life, and meet whenever else their schedules permitted.
In regard to the extent of their relationship, commentators have sa >Freeman shared parts of Carson’s letters with her husband to help him understand the relationship, but much of their correspondence was carefully guarded. Some believe Freeman and Carson’s relationship was romantic in nature. One of the letters from Carson to Freeman reads: But, oh darling, I want to be with you so terribly that it hurts!, while in another, Freeman writes: I love you beyond expression. My love is boundless as the Sea. Carson’s last letter to Freeman before her death ends with: Never forget, dear one, how deeply I have loved you all these years.
Shortly before Carson’s death, she and Freeman destroyed hundreds of letters. The surviving correspondence was published in 1995 asAlways, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 19521964: An Intimate Portrait of a Remarkable Friendship, edited by Freeman’s granddaughter. Editor Martha Freeman, Dorothy’s granddaughter, wrote at publication: A few comments in early letters indicate that Rachel and Dorothy were initially cautious about the romantic tone and terminology of their correspondence. I believe this caution prompted their destruction of some letters within the first two years of their friendship. According to one reviewer, the pair fit Carolyn Heilbrun’s characterization of a strong female friendship, where what matters is ‘not whether friends are homosexual or heterosexual, lovers or not, but whether they share the wonderful energy of work in the public sphere’.
Weakened from breast cancer and her treatment regimen, Carson became ill with a respiratory virus in January 1964. Her condition worsened, and in February, doctors found that she had severe anemia from her radiation treatments and in March they discovered that the cancer had reached her liver. She died of a heart attack on April 14, 1964, in her home in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Her body was cremated and the ashes buried bes >Several of her ashes were afterwards scattered along the coast of Southport Tropical isle, near Sheepscot Bay, Maine.