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In the modern, human-dominated world, a wide variety of pests threaten our environment, agriculture, and health, and must be controlled. Part of the strategy for controlling pests is the use of chemicals that kill or reduce the numbers of the pest. While pesticides are important agents in pest control, they also can carry significant risks if not used carefully and strategically. We now know that some pesticides that were once widely used can be extremely dangerous to organisms other than the target pests.

Fifty years ago, a publication alerted the people of the world to potential dangers in pesticide use. This was the book, Silent Spring, written by Rachel Carson and published in 1962.

As a direct result of the publication of Silent Spring, practices of pesticide use were subjected to much more intense scrutiny and much has changed. Most observers say the changes have been for the better, but some suggest the impacts of Silent Spring have been negative.

Experience the exhibit, read the book.... and be the judge.