Carson, Rachel (1907–1964)
Andrew P. Xanthopoulos
The mother of the 20th-century environmentalist movement, Rachel Carson shed light upon the scientific as well as philosophical misconceptions embraced by Western society about humanity's relationship with the ecosystem. During an era in which the practices of science went almost unquestioned, Carson made known to all the hazardous effects of pesticides in her then-controversial book Silent Spring (1962). Not only did Carson spur the prohibition of such indiscriminate “biocides” as DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethene), but even more awesome was the birth of the environmentalist movement that followed. Carson showed the world the true nature of our roles as participants within a delicate and intricate ecosystem. Carson was foremost a writer and originally envisioned herself as an English major at Pennsylvania College for Women (PCW) (now Chatham College). She also held a strong love and interest for biology, which stemmed from her childhood in Springdale, Pennsylvania. There, she would accompany her mother on ...