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Rachel Carson, Ph.D.

Dates: May 25, 1907 - 1964

Born in Pennsylvania, Rachel Carson was always fascinated by the natural world. During the day she worked as an aquatic biologist at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries while at night she wrote about her view of humans' interaction with the natural world. Her first series of books on the sea was serialized by the New Yorker.

Already a well-known author, her next book, The Silent Spring, was about the dangers of pesticides. Even though the book was lambasted by many when it came out, the documentation for her scientific proof was impressive. The book stayed on the best-seller list for nearly a year and CBS did an hour-long program on it. President Kennedy initiated a committee to investigate her findings and thus the Environmental Protection Agency was born.

Two years after the publication of The Silent Spring Rachel Carson died of breast cancer. She had lived long enough to become one of the most powerful women in the history of science and to significantly change the way Americans view themselves and the web of life.

"The beauty of the living world I was trying to save has always been uppermost in my mind - that, and anger at the senseless, brutish things that were being done."

"The 'control of nature' is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man."


  • 1952 National Book Award for Nonfiction
  • Best-selling author
Under the Sea Wind, Rachel Carson
The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson
The Edge of the Sea, Rachel Carson
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson
The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson. Witness for Nature, Linda Lear
Always, Rachel: The Letters of Rachel Carson and Dorothy Freeman, 1952-1964, edited by Martha Freeman
The House of Life: Rachel Carson at Work, Paul Brooks


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