Department of Energy

Five Fast Facts About Scientist Rachel Carson

March 5, 2015

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Rachel Carson, renowned environmentalist and author of "Silent Spring", is the first subject of our Women's History Month #ThrowbackThursday. | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Rachel Carson, renowned environmentalist and author of "Silent Spring", is the first subject of our Women's History Month #ThrowbackThursday. | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

It’s Women’s History Month on Energy.gov. During the month of March we’re highlighting the great contributions to science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM fields made by women throughout history, as well as taking a look at fascinating work that women are doing in STEM fields today.

Rachel Carson is best known as an environmentalist and author of the book Silent Spring, which pointed out major flaws in the U.S. approach to pesticides and inspired a national environmental movement.

Here are some facts about Rachel Carson you might not know:

  1. Carson received a Masters in Zoology from Johns Hopkins University in 1932.

  2. During the Great Depression, Carson worked for the federal government as a junior aquatic biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries.

  1. Before writing Silent Spring, Carson wrote three acclaimed books about the history of the ocean and aquatic life -- Under the Sea Wind, The Sea Around Us and The Edge of the Sea.

  2. Her concern over the the conflicting interests the Department of Agriculture (USDA) had at the time, both regulating pesticides and promoting the agriculture industry, was influential in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency was created after her death, but Silent Spring is credited with bringing to light these concerns for the first time.

  3. Carson was posthumously awarded the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Carter in 1980. The following year, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Rachel Carson stamp.