Our first Thoreau Muse is the inspirational author and marine biologist Rachel Carson. After a distinguished career working for the US Bureau of Fisheries, Rachel turned her attention to the harmful effects of pesticides, in particular DDT, on people and the environment. Several years of rigorous scientific investigation culminated in one of the most important books of the 20th Century, Silent Spring, in 1962.
Battling terminal breast cancer, in one of her last public appearances Rachel testified before President Kennedy’s Scientific Advisory Committee. In May 1963 the Committee issued its report largely agreeing with Rachel’s findings which led to the nationwide banning of DDT.
The enormous social and political impact of Silent Spring is impossible to measure but it proved to be the rallying cry for the global grassroots environmental movement that gained momentum throughout the 60s and led to the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.
We pay homage to this remarkably courageous, intelligent woman whose work has inspired generations to make a stand for Earth and all its inhabitants.