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Strong Female Friday: Rachel Carson

Posted by Samantha Johnson Aug 8, 2013 , , , , , ,

Rachel Carson was born in Springdale, Pennsylvania in 1907. She was a scientist, writer, and ecologist. Carson paved the way for environmental justice.

In 1963, Carson testified before Congress, advocating for new policies to protect the environment, and thus protect our health. Carson was against synthetic chemical pesticides and the use of them drove her to campaign for the planet’s well-being.

Carson studied at Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham College) and earned a Masters of Arts in Zoology from John Hopkins University. After her postgraduate studies, she was hired by the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries to write radio scripts. This was just the spark of an entire career in writing. She combined her love of nature with her love of writing by writing mostly about the environment.

She is most famous for her book, Silent Spring (1962), in which she challenges “the practices of agricultural scientists and the government” to change the way humans view the earth we inhabit. It seems as though Carson cared most for the way humans perceived their connection to the earth, wanting us to see ourselves as an embedded part of nature rather than merely observers of it.

Carson is a great example of a female advocate who used storytelling to create social change. She wrote pamphlets and stories reminding people of the beauty of the world and the nature we live in while also doing scientific research.

She is a strong woman because of her fearless efforts to protect the environment long before it was a national or international concern.  Carson took on an effort that many people may have scoffed at her for, and persevered to fight for what she believed in, reminding us, “that we are a vulnerable part of the natural world subject to the same damage as the rest of the ecosystem.”

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