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NFC: Rachel Carson (fwd)

From today's NewsScan Daily - an electronic newsletter about technology


     Today's Honorary Subscriber is the biologist, environmentalist,
and author Rachel Carson (1907-1964), whose book "Silent Spring" was
largely responsible for the founding of the environmental movement and
the introduction of environmental legislation.

     Carson was born in western Pennsylvania and became interested in
wildlife as a child. An avid reader and eager writer, she wrote poetry
while studying zoology at the Pennsylvania College for Women and Johns
Hopkins University, and spent her summers studying at the Woods Hole
Marine Biological laboratory. She eventually went on to teach at Johns
Hopkins and the University of Maryland.

     In 1935 she began working as an aquatic biologist for the U.S.
Bureau of Fisheries, later called the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Meanwhile, she wrote scripts called "Seven Minute Fish Tales" for a
radio series. In 1961, Carson published "The Sea Around Us," for which
she won the National Book Award. In addition, a documentary made from
the book won an Academy Award.

     Her best-known book, "Silent Spring," was published in 1962, and
raised awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution, especially
the use of DDT.  She wrote, "Over increasingly large areas of the
United States, spring now comes unheralded by the return of the birds,
and the early mornings are strangely silent where once they were
filled with the beauty of bird song."  President Kennedy read her work
and, despite attacks from the chemical industry, instructed his
Science Advisory Committee to investigate. The panel confirmed her
results in 1963.

    Carson received many awards from conservation and animal welfare
societies, and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and
Letters. In 1980, Carson was posthumously awarded the presidential
Medal of Freedom.
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