Fifty years after the publication of the book that laid the foundations for the environmental movement, what have we learned from the biologist who saw the need for science to work with nature?
Serialised in the New Yorker during the summer of 1962, Silent Spring was published that September. It remains one of the most effective denunciations of industrial malpractice ever written and is widely credited with triggering popular ecological awareness in the US and Europe. Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace trace their origins directly to Silent Spring. “In the 60s, we were only just waking up to the power that we had to damage the natural world,” says Jonathon Porritt, a former director of Friends of the Earth. “Rachel Carson was the first to give voice to that concern in way that came through loud and clear to society.” Or as Doris Lessing put it: “Carson was the originator of ecological concerns.”
For more on this story, visit: Rachel Carson and the legacy of Silent Spring | Science | The Observer.