Biography On Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson, decided to control arrogant minds by detesting the control of nature.

Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964)


"The 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of Neanderthal age of biology and philosophy, when it was supposed that nature exists for the convenience of man"¦.It is our alarming misfortune that so primitive a science had armed itself with the most modern and terrible weapons, and that in turning them against the insects it has also turned them against the earth"

'Silent Spring'

Early Life

Born in Maryland, USA, in 1907 Rachel led a quiet life until her fame with the publication of "Silent Spring". She worked for the Bureau of Fisheries while raising her niece's son. Her niece had died. The success of her first books, "Under the Sea-Wind" and "The Sea around Us" gave her the opportunity to research and write full-time.


In 1948 Paul Müller was awarded the Nobel Prize for the development of the 'wonder' pesticide DDT. The substance had been hailed as a dramatic leap forward in scientific history. It was the result of research conducted by the military on biological warfare. It was noted that DDT killed almost all insects while not being immediately harmful to humans. In 1940s and 50s it was used widely on a variety of crops. Crop yields dramatically rose. It seemed that the battle against pests that preyed on grains, fruits and vegetables had been won.

"Silent Spring"

The publication of "Silent Spring" in 1962 was a revelation and thrust forward the ecology movement.

The suggestion of Olga Owens Huckins to Carson that DDT might be dangerous led to Carson looking into the whole area. She collected research and data. She concluded that organo-pesticides built up in crops and sprayed crops and then transferred to birds and other animals. In fact, it was responsible for the poisoning of the surrounding fauna. "Silent Spring" asked importance questions about the balance between industrial and agricultural needs and the protection of the environment. It also questioned the value of progress when it threatened to destroy quality of life.

Carson's skilled writing awakened the conscience of America. She argued that scientists should investigate the long-term effects of pesticides on nature as well as the short-term economic gains. Her use of language also provoked a widespread concern for nature.

The Legacy of 'Silent Spring'

The Environmental Defense Fund had its roots in Carson's book; it would later become the Environmental Protection Agency. DDT was finally banned in the U.S. in 1972 and its derivatives, aldrin and dieldrin, heptachlor and chlordane, were banned three years later in 1975.

However Carson did receive a lot of negative feedback. Pesticide companies, as expected, claimed that without pesticide the world faced disease and Famine. 'Time' magazine wrote that "Silent Spring" was, 'unfair, one-sided, and hysterically over-emphatic.' While DDT and its derivatives are banned in the U.S. they are still manufactured and sold to foreign markets such as Mexico. Despite this, as time goes on, Carson's work is becoming more accepted and the public is more aware of dangers to the world around us.


Carson lived an unassuming life in Maryland and remained single. She was uncomfortable with her celebrity and public advocacy. She died on April 14, 1964 of breast cancer.

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